CRTC Demands Answers from Rogers Over ‘Unacceptable’ Outage, Gives 10 Days to Respond

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced on Tuesday it is demanding Rogers answer questions about its recent nationwide network outage that affected millions of customers, while also shutting down parts of the country’s financial backbone, INTERAC.

“Today, the CRTC ordered Rogers Communications Canada Inc. (Rogers) to respond to detailed questions and provide a comprehensive explanation regarding the national service outage millions of Canadians experienced on Friday July 8, 2022,” said Ian Scott, Chairperson and CEO of the CRTC.

The CRTC says, “this widespread network outage not only disrupted Canadians and Canadian businesses across the country, it prevented access to services such as 9-1-1 and emergency/public alerting, as well as other critical infrastructure services.”

The federal government wants to hear from Rogers “as to “why” and “how” this happened,”, plus what measures the telco will be implementing to prevent future outages.

“We take the safety, security, and wellness of Canadians very seriously and we are responsible for ensuring that Canadians have access at all times to a reliable and efficient communications system,” added Scott.

The commission said getting Roger to answer questions “is the first step” the regulator can take to “improve network resiliency for all Canadians in response to this significant outage.”

“Events of this magnitude paralysing portions of our country’s economy and jeopardizing the safety of Canadians are simply unacceptable,” said the CRTC’s chairperson’s tough words.

Yesterday, federal minister François-Philippe Champagne met with the CEOs of Rogers, Telus and Bell to discuss emergency roaming, mutual assistance during outages, and a communication protocol to better inform the public and authorities during network emergencies. The three companies have 60 days to share their plan with the federal government.

The minister also said the CRTC would investigate Rogers and now we have today’s CRTC response.

“Once we are satisfied with Rogers’ response to our questions, we will determine what additional measures need to be taken,” said Scott, noting Rogers has until July 22 to provide answers to the commission’s questions.

It’s unclear what the CRTC will actually do to hold Rogers accountable for its devastating network outage, which was blamed on a maintenance update. Rogers will credit customers two days of prorated service automatically.

The CRTC recently approved the Rogers-Shaw merger and transfer of broadcasting licenses.