The House of Commons Industry Committee will hold two hearings today on the Rogers outage that lasted more than 15 hours and left millions of Canadians in a communications blackout.
The July 8 outage affected mobile and Internet users in Rogers, knocked out ATMs, shut down the Interac payments system and halted calls to 911 services in some Canadian cities.
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The committee held an emergency meeting on July 15 and voted unanimously to open an investigation into Rogers’ closure.
Rogers executives, Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, and officials from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission are scheduled to testify.
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The committee will seek feedback on the cause of the outage, its overall impact, and best practices to avoid future outages and better communicate with the public during such emergencies.
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After the outage, Champagne directed Canada’s major telecom companies to agree on a communications protocol to help each other during outages and better inform Canadians during emergencies.
However, experts have called for increased competition in the telecom industry to reduce the impact of future outages on Canadians.
Rogers is seeking to acquire Shaw Communications Inc. for $26 billion, but the transaction requires approval from the Competition Bureau as well as Champaign’s Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada.
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