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The ongoing ramifications of the Rogers outage

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The Rogers outage on July 8th left many Canadians at a standstill. While services have resumed, Canadians and government officials aren’t ready to let Rogers slide the outage under the rug. Multiple actions against the company are pending, and the situation is far from resolved.

To help you keep track of everything happening around the outage, MobileSyrup has put together a list of key events and actions that will take place in the coming weeks and months.

The government’s study on the merger

The House of Commons committee on industry (INDU) and technology has voted to study the Rogers outage through at least two meetings before July 30th. The study will examine four things: the cause of the outage, its impact on Canadians, measures to mitigate future disruptions, and ways for companies to keep impacted Canadians notified about outages in a “timely and transparent manner.

The committee will call witnesses from Rogers, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), and innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne. At the time of writing, the committee did not make public the dates for the two meetings.

Separating wireless and wireline traffic

MobileSyrup reported Rogers plans on separating its wireless and wireline services to prevent one outage from taking down both networks in the future. Currently, all traffic travels through the same core of Rogers’ network. It could take up to 18 months to build the necessary infrastructure, and the migration will likely take place in two years.

Rogers will likely publicly reveal details of this plan in the future.

The CRTC’s deadline

Like the INDU, Canada’s telecom watchdog is additionally questioning Rogers on why the outage happened. The CRTC gave Rogers 10 days to share details and outline measures to prevent a future outage. The letter the CRTC sent to Rogers outlining the details states they received requests to launch a public inquiry, but it doesn’t state that the CRTC is following suit. Rogers has until July 22nd to provide answers.

Class action lawsuit

Law firm LPC Avocat Inc. filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of Quebec resident Arnaud Verdier on July 11th. The suit asks Rogers to pay customers impacted by the outage $400; $200 for Rogers failing to provide service and $200 for “false representations” that Rogers has the most reliable network. The lawsuit also seeks compensation for Canadians who couldn’t complete debit transactions or e-transfers. 

In the meantime, Rogers customers will receive an ounce of financial relief following the company’s decision to credit customers for five days. Notably, critics are saying the action isn’t enough. You can check out the complete list of Rogers flanker brands and resellers offering credits here.

Postponed events

The outage disrupted several different events across the country. The Weeknd had to cancel his July 8th concert at the Rogers Centre, which would have kicked off his ‘After Hours Til Dawn’ stadium tour. The artist will be back on September 22nd for a rescheduled performance, and tickets from the July 8th show will be honoured.

Rogers takeover of Shaw

Before the outage, most of the news coverage surrounding Rogers related to its merger with Shaw in one way or another. While the news cycle has shifted, Minister Champagne is reminding Canadians the two sets of news are very much related. Last week, the Minister said policymakers would be thinking of the outage when considering the takeover. “[It’s] going to be on the mind of the different people who need to make a decision,” Champagne said.

The merger still needs approval from Innovation and Science and Economic Development Canada and the Competition Bureau, which filed to block the merger in May.





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