Minister: cellcos must create mutual assistance plan to cope with network outages

12 Jul 2022

Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science & Industry, Francois-Philippe Champagne, has called on Rogers Communications and rival telecoms operators to forge a plan to boost the resiliency of cellular and internet networks after a massive outage last Friday left millions of Rogers’ users offline and affected some critical services, CBC News reports.

After many customers were denied service for around 15 hours due to disruption apparently caused by a maintenance update to Rogers’ core network, the Minister convened a meeting of CEOs of Rogers, Bell and Telus on Monday to discuss ways to mitigate the effects of similar events in future. Mr Champagne stated that the major national operators should come up with a ‘first step’ plan within 60 days including measures to establish emergency call roaming facilities guaranteeing no customers are without access to 911 services, additional ‘mutual assistance’ between networks during outages, and a ‘communications protocol’ to keep users informed amidst such events. ‘I wanted to make sure that in no uncertain terms they understand how Canadians found the situation unacceptable and they need to take immediate initial steps to improve the resiliency of our network in Canada,’ he said.

MPs have meanwhile called for a parliamentary investigation into the network outage and tougher regulations relating to network resilience.