While the recent Rogers services outage hampered businesses and residents across Canada, I think this issue underscores our reliance on technology for our daily lives.
When this outage was reported, it instantly became the top news story on many national networks. That a telecommunications company’s outage was reported higher than a number of other issues or news items, to me, really shows how highly we, as a country and a province, place importance on technology.
That the Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry is planning on meeting with Rogers’ executives and is using words like “unacceptable” to describe the outage further underscores the importance we all place on our technological items.
I totally understand that technology failures can be annoying and sometimes costly. But we also need to put this issue in perspective. Are we really more interested in a company server malfunction than the rising cost of living crisis, ongoing impacts of climate change or the current state of the healthcare and long-term care systems? Also, the derecho storm of a couple of months ago led to a much longer power outage than the Rogers system outage did.
If nothing else, I think we should all learn from this the need for a backup plan just in case servers or services go down. It’s become less popular over the last ten years, but if debit machines aren’t working, people may want to carry some cash on them just in case. Is your Television not working? How about reading a book or going outside and getting some fresh air. If you can’t contact friends or loved ones via phone, you could pay them a quick visit if they are close enough. Businesses should look into creating contingency plans for IT disasters or outages such as this because, as I’ve learned over the years, technology can always fail you at the worst times.
Now, to be clear, Rogers should not be off the hook for this issue. Like any business, they still need to be accountable to their customers for the services they provide. But I also think we should expect and be prepared for technological systems to break down or not work at times.