A major outage in mobile and Internet networks has disrupted activities of banking, calling, cashless payments and policing in Canada.
The outage disturbed some of the North American country’s top activities which was said to be improving late Friday.
Telecoms firm Rogers reported progress late in the day, stating that “wireless services are starting to recover.”
According to CNBC, one-quarter of Canada’s Internet connections were “knocked out,” quoting the data from NetBlocks, an Internet watchdog group.
Rogers is Canada’s top mobile carrier, with more than 11 million wireless subscribers and nearly three million Internet users — collectively controlling along with Bell Inc. and Telus Corp. almost 90 per cent of the wireless market.
It was not immediately ascertained what led to the breakdown of the business activities running online.
Evan Koronewski, a spokesman for the Communications Security Establishment, a government agency responsible for cybersecurity and signals intelligence, told the media that “at this time, CSE has no indication this is related to malicious cyber threats.”
Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said he had spoken with the Rogers CEO and shared “the frustration of millions of Canadians.”
This unacceptable situation is why quality, diversity and reliability are key to our telecom network,” Champagne said on Twitter.
Police in several cities, including the capital Ottawa and Toronto — Canada’s largest metropolis — lamented that people were incapacitated to call 911 for emergencies due to the outage.
The city of Montreal also said its municipal services line was down.
Across the country, Rogers’ customers complained about not being able to make calls or use the internet.
Several major banks said money transfers and cashless payments could not be processed. Telephone and online banking, as well as ATM withdrawals, were also affected.
The Royal Bank of Canada tweeted that the outage was “affecting all financial institutions” in the country.
Also, coffee shops and retailers in several city centres posted signs saying they were accepting “cash only” for purchases.
And the Canada Border Services Agency tweeted that arriving travellers would have to use paper forms to provide mandatory travel and public health information, as its mobile app had been affected by the outage.