rogers outage upgrade

Rogers is spending $20 billion on upgrades but people are still furious

Weeks after a chaotic Rogers network outage sent Toronto and much of Canada back to the dark ages, the media and telecommunications giant has released a video promising $20 billion in investments to make sure we never have to miss another notification or phone call again.

Only nobody is buying it.

More than 12 million customers — representing just under one-third of Canada's entire population — were without internet and phone service during the massive July 8 outage.

Rogers claimed in a letter to the CRTC that the outage was caused by the deletion of a routing filter on its distribution routers, a small error with consequences that ranged from lost commerce to customers unable to contact emergency services.

In a video released across multiple platforms on Tuesday afternoon, Rogers pledged to invest $20 billion to prevent such a catastrophe from occurring in the future — double the amount the corporation stated they would spend on upgrades just a month earlier.

The video is packed with footage of high-tech control rooms and data centres, all of it very obviously curated to instill confidence in the company's ability to handle an emergency.

And that confidence appears fractured based on the scathing comments in response to the video.

"We will invest $20 billion to deliver a resilient network that Canadian can rely on," said Ron McKenzie, the latest Chief Technology Officer at Rogers. McKenzie replaces former CTO Jorge Fernandes, who was ousted shortly after the July 8 outage.

Even with a new CTO at the helm, a flashy video, and the promise of a huge financial investment in the network, a few commenters say they will need to see some action from the company.

Echoing that sentiment, another comment reads, "Please, after July 8th, you have to speak post-factum and how it already 'met' our expectations. Do - then talk."

Others are concerned about where this $20 billion is coming from, specifically the worry that Rogers may raise fees for customers to cover the cost of service upgrades.

One commenter suggests the amount Rogers is willing to spend on upgrades is insulting to the customers who were only provided with a small credit to cover their full day of lost productivity. Many didn't receive their credit at all.

Rogers states that the $20 billion in upgrades will occur over the next five years.

Not much has been revealed about the specifics, but one interesting upgrade mentioned is a plan to make "a formal agreement between providers to automatically switch 911 calls to each other's networks in the event of an outage on any provider's network."

Lead photo by

Sun Flowers

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