rogers internet outage

Chaos breaks out in Toronto as Rogers internet outage takes down debit machines

Interac services are down all across Toronto this morning thanks to a massive, nationwide Rogers internet outage, which means that nobody can use the debit machines at coffee shops, convenience stores, restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets or pretty much anywhere else one might tap a card to pay.

So don't go counting yourself lucky if this Rogers outage hasn't taken down your home internet or mobile phone. You may still be quite screwed once you step out into the world — unless you happen to have a bunch of cash in your wallet.

Real, physical cash.

The outage tracking site Downdetector shows that problems with the Rogers network began around 5 a.m. on Friday, with large swaths of southern Ontario, Manitoba, Quebec, and New Brunswick impacted.

Rogers has yet to release an official statement addressing the issue, which at this point seems to be effecting tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people.

Complaints started pouring forth online in the wee hours this morning as customers woke up to find that their wireless, cable and internet services (all three in some cases) had been knocked out.

As the work day commenced, people started to realize just how messy this ongoing outage might get.

"There is currently a nationwide communications outage with a network provider which is impacting the availability of INTERAC services," announced Interac — which is responsible for debit transactions and e-transfers, among other things — just before 9 a.m. on Friday.

"We will provide further information as it becomes available."

You see, it doesn't matter if you're a Rogers customer when you're trying to buy coffee at a store that runs on Rogers internet. You can't use the machines there.

It doesn't matter if a store uses another provider either, if Interac runs on the Rogers network. You can't use the machines anywhere.

Customers at places like Tim Hortons are forming larger and larger crowds at the register as operations turn cash-only, and customers are not pleased.

Even if you've got enough scratch for a McMuffin, chances are most people aren't carrying around enough physical cash to buy groceries for an entire family.

The seemingly simple solution of hitting up an ATM for cash is also off the table, with banks reporting network outages and Interac pretty much dormant.

Some people are finding humour in the situation, joking that cash really is king and that they forget how to use paper money.

The vast majority are simply infuriated, not just to be inconvenienced today, but that one network outage could cripple an entire country's digital payment network.

"The Rogers outage is affecting not just cell phones but internet, ATMs, debit machines and more," wrote one Twitter user. "These are the dangers of one company having such a monopoly in one country."

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