Rogers AT&T had a problem with their cell phones across Canada... : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

...on Saturday. Users could dial out, but those who dialed in got a busy signal.

CFRN news (CTV affiliate)

-- Rachel Gibson (, August 05, 2001


Any further clues?

It is curious that this should happen in Canada, and not the U.S. I'm sure there are a lot of across the border calls.

-- Uncle Fred (, August 05, 2001.

Cell phone service restored for 2.6M users

Rogers-AT&T customers face 11-hour service shutdown From Canadian Press Rogers AT&T cellular service was restored this morning to about 2.6 million customers affected by nationwide disruptions that began yesterday afternoon. The cause, however, is still unknown.

''We still don't know why,'' said Heather Armstrong, assistant vice president for communications for Rogers AT&T.

''Our network is pretty robust and has all sorts of protection mechanisms,'' said Armstrong.

Armstrong said technicians worked late into the night to restore full service, ultimately coming up with a solution.

But while they managed to restore service, they didn't uncover the root of the problem.

''We're still working to determine the cause of the issue,'' Armstrong said.

Callers across Canada heard a fast busy signal or a recorded message asking them to contact customer service starting at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

By 7 p.m., technicians had fixed the problem with outgoing calls, and full service was restored to the network by 2:40 a.m. Sunday.

Rogers AT&T Wireless began experiencing ``a limited and intermittent'' problem in mid-afternoon that prevented many customers from dialling out or receiving incoming calls, Armstrong, told The Star's Nicolaas Van Rijn last night.

Customers attempting to call the network's help centre were met with either a fast busy signal, indicating network problems, or a simple line busy signal..

One cell phone user, Steven Saviolidis of Toronto - whose mother is in hospital awaiting triple bypass heart surgery - said the disruption forced him to return to the city from a weekend in Wasaga Beach.

``I've been going to the hospital every day now for a month,'' he said. ``I decide to get away just this once, and use my cell phone for an emergency, and this happens.''

When he attempted to call Rogers to find out what was wrong, Saviolidis said, he couldn't get through to the company.

``The point isn't that they're down - it happens - but they should inform their customers,'' Saviolidis said. ``But you can't get through. They're busy. They hang up on you.

``Why can't they have a simple recording saying what the problem is and how long it's going to take to fix?''

Armstrong said she couldn't recall a service disruption of similar magnitude for the system, founded in 1983 as Rogers Cantel Inc.

In 1987, Rogers AT&T Wireless became the first wireless phone company to complete continuous coverage of the 1,200-kilometre corridor from Windsor to Quebec City, and since then has nearly doubled it in length.

The system now extends some 2,000 kilometres through to the Atlantic coast, making it the longest cellular corridor in North America.

-- Martin Thompson (, August 05, 2001.

Thanks, Martin, for tracking-down a more detailed article. The story had not made the national tv news on CTV last night--it was just a tiny piece of info on the 11:30 local news, so I hopped online to mention it here without searching for more detail. Your hard work is always appreciated.

UF, I have no idea why it happened in one country and not in another. I'm presuming that, in spite of cross-border cell phone calls, the management of same occurs within one country or another.

But I'm going to take this opportunity to raise a litany of "glitches" that have been bugging me for a while, now. They've not been reported in the media, that I know of, but they certainly seem to be computer-related, database problems. If anyone else had oddities to add or explanations for the ones I'm listing, please feel free to elaborate.

First, a few weeks ago the Calgary Herald lost much of its online Classifieds section. It is owned by the National Post, and apparently its online presence is managed and controlled by that paper in eastern Canada. The packet loss was eventually recovered, but I did not discover an explanation for its disappearance.

Second, one morning this past week the CBC tv network (or at least its outlet in Calgary) had a picture but absolutely no sound for over an hour. Then, today, CBC's coverage of the IAAF world meet in Edmonton was damaged by sound that was discernable as such but totally incomprehensible to the listener. The problem lasted for over an hour before true sound reappeared. No explanations for these major gaffes.

Third, several of the discussion boards on yahoo have been "losing" large numbers of messages from their archives.

As I said, if anyone has any plausible explanations for these seeming failures of modern technology, I would be most interested in reading them.

-- Rachel Gibson (, August 05, 2001.

This recent Ottawa Citizen article has no further info than what Martin's article has, but the local CFRN 6 p.m. newscast attributed the problem to a "software glitch."

-- Rachel Gibson (, August 05, 2001.

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