Businesses, doctors and DARTS service in Hamilton and Niagara among those affected by massive Rogers outage

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Several services and businesses in Hamilton and Niagara are experiencing delays and disruptions due to a nationwide Rogers outage.

In a series of tweets, the City of Hamilton said several of its services were affected, including accessible transit service DARTS, which is experiencing “major schedule disruptions.” Until the outage is resolved, “there will be impacts to travel booking and delivery,” the city said.

The outage is impacting wireless, cable and internet customers across the country and began in the early hours of Friday morning.

“We are aware of the issues currently affecting our networks and our teams are fully committed to resolving the issue as soon as possible,” Rogers tweeted. “We will continue to update you as we have more information to share.”

In Hamilton, the city said the Glanbrook Municipal Service Center is also experiencing service disruptions.

The credit and debit card function of some municipal services is affected, including:

  • Paid parking on the street.
  • The HSR GO Center on Hunter Street
  • Community recycling centers

The city’s customer service line is currently receiving a “high volume of calls,” the city said, but is able to take calls.

Halton police reminded residents who use Rogers that they will not be able to dial 911 from their cell service and asked them to use a landline in case of an emergency.

Hamilton police said their 911 center is fully operational and is encouraging residents calling Rogers cellular services to stay on the line until they are connected, if successful.

Niagara Police also said their 911 services are fully operational and unaffected. He also encouraged people to use landlines or other carriers in emergencies.

The Hamilton Paramedic Service told CBC Hamilton it continues to respond to 911 calls it receives through its dispatch centre. “Although we have had to modify some administrative processes internally, there is currently no impact on our 911 operations and the ability to be dispatched, respond and transport patients to the hospital once a call is called. 911 is received,” he said.

Hospitals rescheduling appointments

Niagara Health said in an announcement Friday that it is rescheduling oncology patients with radiation therapy appointments due to the outage. Anyone in need of emergency radiation therapy is referred to Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS).

He also said any patients who have Rogers and cannot log into virtual appointments will be contacted by Niagara Health to reschedule the appointment.

While there are no further impacts to patient care at this time, Niagara Health says the debit machines are down.

“Our staff and physicians are also experiencing communication issues related to cell service,” according to the press release.

“The hospital’s main phone line operates at 905-378-4647. We ask that you limit calls to emergency calls only.”

Businesses in Hamilton’s Jackson Square Mall posted notices of the Rogers outage on Friday, July 8, 2022. (Aura Carreno Rosas/CBC)

HHS said its systems use Bell and are unaffected, but the outage is disrupting some hospital operations.

“This includes staff and physicians who rely on Rogers cellular or internet service providers, partner hospitals and other health care organizations,” HHS spokeswoman Wendy Stewart told CBC Hamilton.

“Teams at HHS are currently assessing the impact of the loss of connectivity and putting in place measures to mitigate the impact on care, such as contacting physicians to ensure they are available to provide response and consultations. on call.”

Rogers outage affecting border and ArriveCan submissions

The blackout also causes problems for travelers.

The Canada Border Services Agency said the outage affects people trying to complete ArriveCan submissions while crossing the border into Canada.

“For the duration of the outage, affected travelers are required to submit their information using the Traveler Details Form, to be completed prior to arrival at the border if they are unable to submit via ArriveCan,” a the agency said in a tweet.

Hard copies of proof of vaccination will also be required, the CBSA said. The form is available online here.

Failure affecting the business

Businesses have also been hit by disruptions to the payment system.

A Hamilton Farmer’s Market vendor, Victoria Longa-Belletti of Latin Food & Products, told CBC Hamilton that when she arrived at work on Friday morning, several customers were already queuing up at their stall because their debit machine and credit was not working and transactions were slowed down as a result.

“Which we didn’t expect because our service provider is Bell,” she said. Bell tweeted Friday morning that his network was operational.

Longa-Belletti said other stalls in the market had to turn away customers and customers stopped at banks to withdraw cash.

“Customers came back and told me there were huge queues at the banks,” she said.

“My main concern at the moment is the safety of all my staff”

Jessica Friesen is the owner of Gales Gas Bars. The chain has 14 locations in the Niagara region and also delivers petroleum products as far away as Stoney Creek and Dunnville.

She said the outage affected debit transactions, lottery terminals, ATMs, GPS devices and some landlines at the company’s headquarters.

Friesen said this has been particularly problematic at 24-hour locations, where many customers who arrived before 7 a.m. were unaware the problem was nationwide.

“People are less patient…they’re very frustrated and assume it’s just a problem for my sites and don’t understand why we can’t accept debit cards,” she said.

Close-up image of a portable debit machine on a glass display case.
According to one business owner, the gas industry is highly dependent on throughput. Many debit machines were unable to process payments on Friday. (Aura Carreno Rosas/CBC)

While credit card transactions still work, the gas industry relies heavily on debit, she said.

But Friesen said the problem is “much, much bigger than just the fact that debit cards aren’t working.”

“My main concern right now is the safety of all my staff,” she said.

“A lot of my staff are using cell phones and even now I have a lot of trucks on the road – I can’t communicate with them right now… I don’t know where they are,” Friesen said.

Friesen said if there is a silver lining, the problem is national.

“People are more understanding,” she said.

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