Friday, July 8, 2022

Your call is important to us, but not much.

Rogers entire network is down and Rogers either does not know why or sufficiently disrespects its customers that it won't say.

I was on the advisory committee for the largest private network in Canada serving 150,000 employees countrywide. I was also an active participant building out that network. I installed the first Local Area Networks there. I wrote a code generator responsible for the most critical portion of Bell's mobile network. I also wrote a portion of code for a system in the United States that detected and pinpointed line breaks in their network before they happened. For a time, I held the title 'Networking Professor' at our local College. I registered my first domain name in the 1980s. I have administered Internet network servers for decades. In one capacity or another, I have worked with most of the telecommunications providers in Canada past and present. Nearly a billion devices use a small network codec written by me decades ago. 

Except that Rogers was the victim of a concerted physical attack on their network at multiple points by a very well informed and well-armed adversary, there is no excuse for their network going down like this. 

If it is the result of a physical break in a major portion of the network, the network should fail over appropriately. They should have tested that, so it should definitely work. 

If it is the result of an update, that update should have also have been tested prior, should have rolled out in a small portion first and whatever the case, in the event of failure the update should have been rolled back. Roll back and testing thereof is a crucial aspect of critical network infrastructure. 

Regardless of whatever other incompetence, malfeasance, or misfortune is involved, failing to keep an entire country informed of a major outage like this is unconscionable. 

If your network people are sufficiently ill informed that they cannot say what happened, you should call in network people who can. If you know what has happened but feel it is acceptable to keep your customers in the dark ... it isn't. 

We pay more than enough, more than others do, for our mobile services to keep a professional industrial grade network in place. I pay more than $600 a month to Rogers for mobile services. 

Rogers is not alone in their cheerful disrespect for and dishonesty to their customers, but it's still unacceptable. I expect my mobile bill will be north of $700 this month, but since I can't get to their system to check I quote a lower figure. Their site currently says when I go to look up my bill:

"We're updating our site to make it even better, which means we can't process your request right now. Please check back later to restart your transaction."

That is essentially a falsehood. It's disrespectful.

Rogers has more than twenty thousand employees. Perhaps one of them would care to comment something of substance rather than the usual dishonest platitudes.


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