MPs quiz Industry Minister on nationwide internet blackout at Rogers

Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne will appear before a parliamentary committee this month to answer questions about the recent nationwide outage of Rogers service that left millions of people line and affected certain essential services.

Industry and Technology Committee MPs voted on Friday to devote at least two days of study before the end of July to the Rogers outage, which began on Friday July 8 and stretched into the weekend -end.

Representatives from the CRTC, Canada’s broadcast regulator, and Rogers Communications Inc. will also appear before the committee. Rogers can expect pointed questions about how long it took to notify customers of the outage.

The committee will study the causes of the disruption and its impact on families, consumers and businesses. It will examine its impact on health services, law enforcement and the financial sector.

The committee will also explore possible best practices that would help prevent or mitigate outages in the future.

Rogers blamed the outage on a network system failure following a maintenance update in its core network. Rogers now says it will credit customers with five days of service to compensate for the disruption.

It was the second time in as many years that Rogers had been hit by a major outage. The company’s wireless and wired networks similarly collapsed in April 2021. At the time, Rogers blamed a software update at one of its equipment vendors.

In 2021, the company offered customers discounts for their services, which ended up amounting to a few dollars per customer. Rogers says it serves about 11.3 million subscribers in the Canadian wireless market and reported quarterly net income of $405 million last January.

CFIB wants a month of free service in compensation

According to Rogers’ residential service agreement, if an outage lasts more than four hours, customers are entitled to one day’s account credit for each service they have.

Dan Kelly, head of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, said Monday that business owners – still struggling to recover from the damage wrought by the pandemic – should get a free month of Rogers service to make up for the breakdown.

“There are businesses in Canada that have been closed for more than 400 days… in the last two years, and therefore every day of sale is absolutely essential in this period of recovery,” he told La Presse. Canadian.

“It was just brutal…and more than an inconvenience. It was cutting into very limited revenue at a very critical time.”