House of Commons Industry Committee to Investigate Rogers Outage

The House of Commons Industry and Technology committee is launching a study into last week’s nationwide Rogers network outage that affected cellular, wireline, and internet service — reports CTV News.

At least two of the meetings toward the planned study will take place before July 30. Committee members will invite executives from Rogers, representatives from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), and Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne to speak about the large-scale breakdown.

Members of Parliament (MPs) want to get to the bottom of what caused the outage, gauge its impact on Canadian citizens, consumers, and businesses as it relates to the healthcare, law enforcement, and financial sectors, and how similar incidents can be prevented in the future.

The Rogers service outage did more than just cut off phone and internet access. Businesses, government agencies, smaller telecom operators, and even banking systems like INTERAC and Visa rely on various Rogers services. When these services went down last week, all of them faced disruptions.

Liberal, Conservative, and NDP MPs have all called for public inquiries into last week’s events.  Consumer advocacy groups, internet organizations, and more are pushing for authorities to look into the disruption as well.

“The Liberal members of this committee share the frustration millions of Canadians experienced last week when Rogers experienced an unprecedented system failure and seek to examine this issue in a fair comprehensive manner on their behalf,” reads a letter from Liberal MPs.

Rogers CEO Tony Staffieri said on Saturday that the disruption was caused by “a network system failure following a maintenance update.” Staffieri called the network outage “unacceptable” in a statement on Wednesday.

The company originally offered customers two days of prorated service as compensation but increased it up to five days on Tuesday. Rogers has said it will cooperate with the request to testify before Parliament.

“We will work collaboratively with the members on the Standing Committee on Industry, Science, and Technology to provide details on the cause of the outage and the actions we are taking to enhance the reliability of each of our networks moving forward, including through formal mutual support agreements,” said Rogers spokesperson Nilani Logeswaran.

Separately, the CRTC is conducting its own inquiry into the breakdown. Canada’s telecom regulator has demanded answers from Rogers over the outage, giving the telco 10 days to respond.

Minister Champagne, meanwhile, has ordered Rogers, Telus, and Bell to create a network safety plan within 60 days. The plan needs to be designed to prevent another incident like this from happening in the future by pooling resources and guaranteeing emergency roaming, among other things.