The recent nationwide Rogers outage that crippled the country was a big shock to all of us with the exception of Packetworks based in Waterloo. They build networks for cities, hospitals and businesses among others, and they apparently saw trouble coming weeks ago from Rogers. Here’s what John Fagg, the president at Packetworks had to say:
His company uses both Rogers and Bell networks to ensure clients are never without internet and mobile, and Packetworks clients sailed through the countrywide outage, he added.
The Rogers monitoring system constantly checks on the Rogers software and hardware used by in the networks built by Packetworks. Normally, the engineers and operators at Packetworks receive one notice a week from the Rogers monitoring system about disruptions.
But that jumped to 50 a week during the two-month period before the Rogers networks crashed for more than 24 hours, beginning about 4:30 a.m. Friday, July 8.
“It was the Rogers monitoring system that is sending us notices saying, ‘Hey, we see a problem here and we see a problem there.’ They are small, a computer can see it, but most people don’t see those problems,” said Fagg.
“If you get one a year that is not a problem , but if you start getting one a week you know that equipment is going to be failing pretty soon,” said Fagg. “Once a week we were getting several, 50 at a time, that sort of thing.”
“They contacted us a couple of times wanting to do upgrades because their optics are showing signs of deterioration,” said Fagg. “In hindsight, maybe that is something that was indicative of what we had on Friday.”
That’s pretty damming and businesses and individuals based on this should be re-evaluating if Rogers can be trusted ever again. Because you have to assume that things must have been pretty bad on the Rogers network for Packetworks to see trouble up to two months ago. And it also implies that since an outage of this scale is something that cannot be fixed instantly, the underlying issues are still there. That in turn implies that Rogers could have a similar outage again. Which of course is bad. Now Rogers is free to prove me wrong on this by simply coming clean and saying in detail what happened and what they’re going to do to make sure it never happens again. But I know they won’t do that because that isn’t who they are. Thus I guess that we’ll have to leave it to the CRTC and the feds to get those answers for Canadians.