Canadian telcos ink deal to guarantee network reliability

The government also announced additional steps to improve the reliability of telecommunications networks in Canada

Canadian mobile operators have reached a formal agreement to ensure and guarantee emergency roaming and other mutual assistance in the case of a major outage, the government said in a statement.

The agreement comes after a massive Rogers Communications service disruption on July 8 that affected millions of mobile users across Canada.

In a statement, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois-Philippe Champagne said the mobile operators and other players in the telecoms field have committed to a number of obligations to guarantee the reliability of services.

“I can report to Canadians that a formal agreement has been reached by these companies, along with a number of other telecommunications service providers offering Internet and mobile services. As of September 9, should one of these providers be faced with a major network outage, the other companies have committed to provide the support and assistance necessary so that Canadians can reach loved ones, access 911, and conduct business transactions,” Champagne said.

“As part of this agreement, the companies also commit to providing clear and timely communications to keep Canadians and appropriate authorities informed about response and restoration during major network outages,” he added.

The move was pushed by authorities in the wake of an outage suffered by Rogers Communications in July where services were disrupted for more than 15 hours.

“The Rogers outage of July 8 was unacceptable, and we must do everything possible to ensure something similar does not happen again in the future… Canadians deserve strong, reliable, and affordable telecommunications networks,” Champagne said.

Apart from this agreement with mobile operators, Champagne also announced a series of additional steps to improve the reliability of telecommunications networks in the country.

“I directed the Canadian Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (CSTAC) to come up with further measures within six months to ensure robust and reliable telecommunications networks across the country.”

The minister said it has instructed his department to review all appropriate regulatory measures to be implemented aimed at strengthening the reliability and safety of telecommunications networks.

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