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Feds demand Canada’s telecom giants formalize deal to work together during outages

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The national outage of Rogers services is unacceptable. That’s according to Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne. 

Friday’s outage left millions of people without internet, cell, and landline services and disrupted the ability to call 9-1-1.  The Interac system was crippled throughout the country, causing businesses only to take cash or credit. 

In 60 days, Champagne wants to see a formal agreement between Canada’s big three telecom companies.  That will include a plan to improve the time it takes to recover from an outage of that magnitude.

“The first thing that I want the formal agreement to cover is mutual assistance during outages, the second thing is emergency roaming, particularly during the time of emergencies like we have seen, and [third is] communications protocol to better inform the public and authorities during these times of crisis,” Champagne said.

He says the outage, caused by a systems failure after a maintenance upgrade, will be investigated by the CRTC. 

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Meanwhile, a class-action lawsuit has been filed by a Quebec Rogers customer seeking 400-dollars-worth of compensation for each customer affected by Friday’s outage. 

A judge has yet to sign off on the suit.

***With files from Wendy Gray and Mo Fahim

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