Canada orders telecoms to help each other in emergency after Rogers outage

OTTAWA: Canada’s Industry Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said Monday he has ordered telecommunications companies to help each other in emergencies and develop communication protocols to better inform people after the Massive Friday outage at Rogers Communications Inc.

The Rogers network outage disrupted almost every aspect of daily life, cutting off access to banking, transportation and government services for millions, and hitting the country’s cashless payment system and the center of calls from Air Canada.

“So basically what I have asked for and what I expect from telecommunications companies in Canada is to enter into a formal agreement within 60 days to date, at the most,” the minister said during a briefing. a call with reporters on Monday.

The outage also complicated Rogers’ chances of securing antitrust approval for a C$20 billion ($15.39 billion) acquisition of rival Shaw Communications after Friday’s major nationwide disruption highlighted the dangers of Canada’s efficient telecommunications monopoly and sparked a backlash against its dominance of the industry.

“I think the people in Canada and certainly the CEOs of the telcos in Canada understand that I’ve said very clearly and openly that I won’t allow the wholesale transfer of licenses from Shaw to Rogers and I think that’s understood,” Champagne said. In Monday.

The outage came two days after Rogers held talks with Canada’s antitrust authority to discuss possible remedies to its stalled takeover of Shaw.

The minister also asked Rogers to compensate its customers for the outage it blamed on a malfunction of the router after maintenance work.

Canada’s telecommunications regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, will investigate the outage, he added.

($1 = 1.2999 Canadian dollars)

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