The ability to send text messages or make phone calls with smartphones is something wireless customers take for granted.
For the better part of Wednesday, a large number of Rogers Communications Inc. customers found themselves without the ability to do either.
Canada’s largest wireless carrier, which has more than nine million subscribers, scrambled to restore service to customers who were without access to texting and phoning.
The areas hit hardest by the outage were southern Ontario, southern Quebec, southwestern British Columbia, as well as parts of southern and central Alberta.
Customers in parts of western Saskatchewan — including Moose Jaw — also had to go hours without service from the wireless giant.
Rogers CEO Nadir Mohamed issued a statement early Thursday morning in which he apologized to customers for a “significant inconvenience.”
Service was completely restored just prior to midnight eastern time on Wednesday, and while customers of Rogers and its Fido subsidiary will each be credited with one day of service due to the outage, questions remain.
Why did it happen? What if it happens again?
An answer to the why question is not known and may not be known for some time. But should this happen again, Rogers customers will, of course, be irate.
This brings us back to the limited wireless carriers that offer nationwide services in Canada.
Telus, Rogers and Bell are the big three carriers. Yes, they each have subsidiaries, but Telus also had a recent wireless outage.
Less than a month ago, a bundle of Telus customers in B.C. and Alberta lost wireless service for a few hours. While Telus said the outages its customers were forced to endure is still under investigation, saying the problem was a “tech issue” does little to console them.
Saying you had a “tech issue” could be comparable to a finance minister saying there will be $3.1 million put toward a new drug rehabilitation program, but without explaining what exactly the methods the program will employ to help people with drug problems.
There is no detailed explanation of how or why problems occurred, just that they occurred, which isn’t good enough in a world where accountability is sometimes lacking.
With a lack of accountability comes a likelihood that another wireless issue might occur.
Canada’s wireless carrier heavyweights need to do something to make sure these outages stop happening, otherwise the cries for American wireless giants Sprint, Verizon and AT&T to offer service to Canadians will only get louder.
All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.