What if Your Internet Vanished? The Problem With Oligopolies
Imagine that you have no money.
I mean, many of us are short on money, but imagine that you actually do have funds, but can’t get to them because the online banking system is closed down.
Stores cannot process your payments.
Mobile and internet services are cut off.
Banks, debit purchases, and passport offices have been sucked behind a glass window; you can see them but not touch them.
Yesterday, one of Canada’s telecommunications provider’s wireless networks went down, nation-wide, for a day.
Police told users with problems connecting to 9–1–1 to try again if their call fails, or call from a landline or cell phone with another provider. Also, don’t bother calling 911 to report that you can’t call 911.
Distress Centres services are being affected by the outage: texts, phone calls and chats can’t come through. Our chats can’t come through, which definitely makes our service useless for people who are in distress or crisis,” said spokesperson Leslie Scott.
Interac said in a statement the outage had affected its online services. Many businesses who rely on debit transaction were unable to process them, including grocery stores and retail outlets.
Banks and ATMs saw long lines as people sought to withdraw cash.
Bars and fast-food restaurants operated as cash-only establishments all day. Small businesses from retail to grocery stores lost thousands of dollars. Bigger stores had to have an employee at the front entrance to tell people that they had to use cash.
Rogers Communications was the affected provider. Evidently a software coding error called a Border Gateway Protocol took the network off the Internet, causing it to be ‘invisible’ to other networks:
This is serious, because there are only three providers in Canada; more than 90% of our wireless service is provided by telecom giants Bell Canada, TELUS Corporation, and Rogers Communications.