Home LATEST NEWS HIGH TECH Blackout at Rogers: Networks should be ‘public goods’, experts say

Blackout at Rogers: Networks should be ‘public goods’, experts say


The outage underscored in broad strokes the fact that telecommunications infrastructure and services in Canada are owned by private companies, said Vass Bednar, director of McMaster University’s master’s program in public policy for the digital society.

The outage didn’t just affect the cellphones of millions of Canadians: Many services were inaccessible, from Interac payments to 911 emergency lines.

Ms. Bednar argues that telecommunications networks such as cell phones and the Internet should be considered public goods. According to her, they are a essential digital infrastructure that we need to use, and yet they are privately owned and operated. Ms Bednar adds that he maybe it’s time for Canadians to seriously rethink [cette question].

This incident at Rogers could be due to an update gone wrong in one of the company’s internal systems, thinks technology analyst Ritesh Kotak.

According to him, this situation also shows the vulnerability of the entire Canadian economy to this type of breakdown, which can completely paralyze it for a few hours, or even several days. This, he said, should encourage customers and businesses to diversify their telecommunications service providers.

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We depend on this technologyinsists Mr. Kotak, and this has affected several government services, employees working from home as well as transactions in businesses.

A sign in a store door indicates that the Interac system is not working and only cash is accepted.

Several business owners had to inform consumers on Friday that the Interac system was not working.

Photo: /TurnedNews.com / Réal Fradette

The outage comes as Rogers and another industry giant, Shaw Communications, mediate with the Canadian Competition Bureau to try to get the green light for their merger.

Earlier this year, the Bureau had blocked the transaction, believing that the new organization that would emerge from it would take too much of the Canadian market, which would result in higher bills for consumers.

Second outage in 14 months

Rogers suffered a second major outage in 14 months on Friday after the April 19, 2021, failure when the company’s wireless and wired networks misfired.

At the time, Rogers had mentioned a problem during a software update at one of its equipment suppliers.

All companies [sont] dependent and interdependent on supplierssays Daniel Dancause, expert in emergency measures at Prudent Groupe Conseil.

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I think a soul-searching needs to be done [non seulement par] several Rogers customers but also [par les autres fournisseurs], explains Mr. Dancause. He hopes this will force telecom giants to view their services as essential services to the population [et à prévoir] at least one succession plan that will help minimize the impacts network failures.

Daniel Dancause thus pleads for the creation of systems such as Quebec on alertwhich would make it possible to inform the population when there are breakdowns in the communications networks.: we have a major problem with such a case”,”text”:”These services could make it possible to tell the population: we have a major problem with such a case”}}”>These services could make it possible to say to the population: “We have a major problem in such and such a case”said Mr. Dancause.

During Friday’s outage, some services like text messaging were functional, but other services like phone communications were unavailable, while wi-fi was intermittent.

We should have succession plans to have at least lines [téléphoniques] additional, [parce qu’on] don’t want to have downtimeconcludes Mr. Dancause.

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