Canada telecom execs summoned after wide service outage

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. outage / ˈaʊ tɪdʒ / (n.) – a sudden failure or interruption in a service, such as electricity or internet

    The school decided to send the students home early because of the power outage.

  2. operational / ˌɒp əˈreɪ ʃə nl / (adj.) – ready to be used

    We need to use the stairs today because the elevators are not operational.

  3. narrow / ˈnær oʊ / (v.) – to make something smaller by limiting its amount or range

    The number of applicants was narrowed from 10 to three.

  4. intermittent / ˌɪn tərˈmɪt nt / (adj.) – not steady or continuous

    The online meeting was canceled because the supervisor had an intermittent internet connection.

  5. threat actor / θrɛt ˈæk tər / (n.) – a person or group of people that’s trying to threaten or harm an organization’s security usually through computers, devices, systems, and networks

    We found out that the threat actor who was trying to steal our data is one of our former employees.


Read the text below.

The federal industry minister said he is summoning telecom executives following an outage at Rogers Communications Inc. that disrupted mobile and Internet services across Canada, hampering several crucial services.

In a statement, Francois-Philippe Champagne said he would meet with Tony Staffieri, Rogers’ chief executive officer, and other telecom leaders to discuss improving “the reliability of networks across Canada.” He called the failure “unacceptable.”

The widespread disruption, which began morning of July 8 and lasted at least 15 hours, paralyzed communications across sectors including health care, law enforcement and the financial industry. Many 911 services couldn’t receive incoming calls, several hospitals reported services affected, and debit card transactions were paused.

Staffieri released a statement the following day apologizing for the outage.

“We know how much our customers rely on our networks and I sincerely apologize,” he said. “We’re particularly troubled that some customers could not reach emergency services and we are addressing the issue as an urgent priority.”

Staffieri said services had been restored and were close to fully operational.

“We now believe we’ve narrowed the cause to a network system failure following a maintenance update in our core network, which caused some of our routers to malfunction early Friday morning,” Staffieri said.

Many customers continued reporting service disruptions into July 10.

Rogers issued a statement saying it was aware that some customers were continuing to experience “intermittent challenges with their services.”

Richard Leblanc, a professor of governance, law and ethics at Toronto’s York University, said the outage showed how vulnerable Canadian industry, financial institutions and health care systems are to an attack on a telecom provider.

“This could have been catastrophic for the country if this was a threat actor,” he said in a telephone interview.

It was the second significant outage for Rogers in 15 months.

According to Netblocks, a British-based organization that monitors cybersecurity, the outage knocked out around 25% of Canada’s observable Internet connectivity at its peak.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Rogers Communications Inc. has had two major outages in 15 months. In your area, is it common for consumers to experience internet outages? How would you rate the internet service of your provider (ex. good, excellent, bad)? Discuss.
  • The disruption caused several crucial services such as financial institutions, health care systems, and emergency services to stop. As a consumer who relies on mobile and internet communication, what service is the most crucial for you? What would you do if that particular service gets affected? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • What do you think Rogers should do to compensate for the trouble that their customers experienced because of the internet outage? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, what problems could arise when people depend too heavily on the internet to run services or do their tasks? Discuss.