Canadian Cell Phone Service Crashes

Today was not a great day for Canadians who rely on cell phones; to put it in a nutshell – service crashed from coast to coast this afternoon. Major carriers like Rogers and Fido seemed to take the brunt of this disruption; officially, Rogers said it was due to “technical difficulties”. Customers in Ontario and Quebec were first to loose service late this afternoon – the problem quickly spread nationwide. Rogers issued the following statement…..

“Rogers is experiencing a wireless outage affecting voice and some SMS services across the country. Data services are not affected.

We are investigating the root cause and services are gradually resuming. At this time we do not have an estimate as to when full service will be restored. We sincerely apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.

We are still experiencing service interruptions in some areas and we encourage customers to use a wireline telephone if they need to reach emergency services.”

Naturally the first thought in my mind was “solar activity”. The X1.7 flare on May 12, 2013 resulted in an hour long black out of high frequency radio signals. Being a space weather enthusiast I knew a CME (coronal mass ejection) had hit on Oct. 8 causing geo-magnetic storms, with a second impact expected on Oct. 9. Perhaps a leap by association yet a ponder just the same.

Regardless of the source for today’s “technical difficulties”, it should serve as a wake up for implications of extended communication problems. I couldn’t believe all the “knickers in a twist” over a few hours without phone service. It was the lead story on just about every evening news program, facebook went ballistic with desperate pleas for any information re restoration of service. I’m certain dramatic meltdowns erupted from coast to coast as panic set in.

Ponder what this says about society in general; how on earth could we cope with a major situation? Meanwhile, a poll by a local news station revealed 78% of Vancouver residents had not prepared emergency supplies in any way, shape or form for the predicted “big one”  on B.C.’s west coast. Many respondents weren’t even aware of the long overdue earthquake. I shudder to think how we might handle a truly grave situation. Yikes.

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6 thoughts on “Canadian Cell Phone Service Crashes

  1. A post like this should serve as a wake up call to people everywhere. I like mot people rely on everything digital from my phone to my computer. I have also wanted for a longtime to do a post similar to this nut under a different set of circumstances. Naturally I don’t have or sadly the time to look up the links but there are many well respected scientist that say the probability of this theory is very likely. We have thousands of pieces of space junk in outer space in the vicinity and same orbit as all of the satellites which control everything from GPS to cell coverage being bounced around the world. Add to that the occasional small asteroids that burn up before they strike earth but not before they pass through the orbit of the satellites. If one piece of space junk or a small asteroid were to hit a satellite and destroy it or even knock it off course the possibility of this starting a chain reaction and taking out all of the satellites is pretty high. NASA and our government track these but they admit there is nothing they can do to “fix this problem in the immediate future”. My only hope is I don’t live long enough for this to happen. If it does I have enough stuff stocked up at my place in the country where I could survive along with my sister and brother in law. What I lack I am prepared to take to survive with my rather large collection of guns and ammo !

    • I was so into xbox’s reply I hit “post” prematurely. 😦

      That one line above…says it all.

      I can see the absolute panic this must have caused. People can’t seem to function without their phones.

      Losing cell service is no skin off my back. After being married to a phone (15 hours a day) for five years…I’m phonophobic most of the time. I have one but forget to look at it most of the time.

      I would be more affected by a power loss. It is the breaking up of a routine with my computer. It almost sets up a false boredom of having nothing to do. So, I have prepared myself for the next outage. I got a bunch of BOOKS!!!! Real ones with actual pages…no e-readers! So, when boredom hits…I’ll read, damn it!

      Several years ago we had a minor flood in our neighborhood and although we didn’t get wet, our property became an island and we were boxed in for three days without electricity. I survived it by taking lots of pictures of the different attitudes of others. Some would try to drive through three feet of water and then get mad because their engine stalled. Others took it as an opportunity to have some recreation time by wake boarding while being pulled by an enduro bike.

      As far as preparedness, we did fine…between growing up along the San Andreas, being a teacher and being the Safety Chairperson of a skilled nursing facility, preparedness is my middle name. But…I do think we pissed off a few people the first morning of the flood when Rick cranked up the generator so that I could have my morning coffee…;)

  2. LOL — and here in the US some landlined conventional carriers have announced that they are discontinuing their lined services in favor of wireless boxes installed in customers’ houses because maintaining landlines is too expensive.
    glory, glory, glory……

    P

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