13 telecom providers sign MOU to guarantee emergency calls, other assistances, during outages

Following the July 8th Rogers outage, Minister Champagne gave telecom leaders 60 days to come to an agreement

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry says major telecom companies have reached a deal to guarantee emergency roaming, mutual assistance, and a communications protocol in the event of a significant service outage.

François-Philippe Champagne required the agreement following Rogers’ July 8th outage. The directive was issued on July 11th and telecom providers had 60 days to reach an agreement.

Effective September 9th, if any providers part of the agreement faces a network outage, the other companies have agreed to provide support.

An MOU outlining the agreement shows Bell, Bragg Communications, Cogeco, Rogers, SaskTel, Shaw, Freedom, Tbaytel, Telesat, Telus, Videotron, Xplornet, and Zayo have signed on.

The commitment also sees companies providing “clear and timely communications” to keep Canadians updated during the restoration process.

“The Rogers outage of July 8th was unacceptable, and we must do everything possible to ensure something similar does not happen again in the future,” Champagne said.

In a statement, Rogers CEO Tony Staffieri said the agreement is part of the company’s journey to regain Canadians’ trust. “I want to acknowledge the hard work and collaboration from our fellow industry stakeholders which speaks to the strength of our shared commitment to Canadians,” Staffieri said.

The Minister has also outlined a number of other actions, including giving the Canadian Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (CSTAC) six months to create more measures to ensure reliable networks across the country.

Champagne has also directed his department to review regulatory measures that will strengthen network safety. Along with the Minister of Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair, Champagne is also supporting the Public Safety Broadband Network.

“As we move forward, I will continue to hold Canada’s telecommunications service providers accountable, and keep Canadians updated on the work our government is doing to strengthen the reliability of our networks and granting affordability and competition,” Champagne said.

Source: Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada