Rogers to Spend $10 Billion to Make Network More Reliable: CEO

Rogers President and CEO Tony Staffieri continues to pen letters to customers about the steps the company is taking to recover from its recent nationwide network outage that affected millions of consumer and business customers, with both mobile and internet services going down at the same time.

Staffieri just published details on Sunday morning, saying “I would like to share the steps we are taking to learn from the outage and deliver the reliable network you should expect from Rogers.”

The first step is Rogers making a formal agreement with other carriers such as Telus and Bell to switch 911 services to other networks automatically. “I believe this is the only responsible way forward and I am personally committed to making it possible for all Canadians,” says the Rogers CEO.

Secondly, Rogers will separate its wireless and internet services, in what it says will create an “always on” network, so Canadians don’t have both cellular and internet services go down simultaneously.

The third step, is the investment of $10 billion over the next three years. “This includes more oversight, more testing and greater use of Artificial Intelligence to ensure we’re able to deliver the reliable service you deserve,” writes Staffieri.

Rogers also says it is working with the “leading technology firms” for a full audit of their network so they can learn from the outage, which they will then share with the industry “for the benefit of every Canadian.”

“I know that it is only through these actions that we can begin to restore your confidence in Rogers and earn back your trust. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to do so,” concluded Staffieri.

The Rogers outage on July 8 lasted more than a day, taking out 911 services, the entire INTERAC network, plus cellphone and internet services for consumers and businesses. Rogers told the CRTC that despite Telus and Bell offering to take on its customers during the outage, it would not have been possible due to the sheer number of customers at impending traffic surge.

The federal government has ordered the ‘Big 3’ to come up with a network safety plan within 60 days and the automatic 911 services switching seems to be a start. Rogers has also been summoned to appear before the House of Commons Industry and Technology committee to explain what happened the day of the outage.