CRTC takes action to ensure Canadians have access to reliable telecommunications services
February 22, 2023 – Ottawa-Gatineau – Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)
Today, the CRTC launched a first consultation aimed at enhancing the resilience and reliability of Canada’s telecommunications networks.
Canadians are experiencing an increased frequency of outages to crucial telecommunications networks. These outages, caused by a variety of factors, including extreme weather events, cyber-attacks, and accidents, disrupt Canadians’ lives by affecting telephone and Internet access, and other telecommunications services.
Canadians are invited to comment on requirements for the reporting of major service outages. In the interim, the CRTC is directing all service providers to notify the CRTC within two hours of when they become aware of such an outage. They must also file a comprehensive report with the CRTC within 14 days following the outage.
This consultation and the interim measure build on the efforts of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) and the Canadian Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (CSTAC), and contribute to the government’s Telecommunications Reliability Agenda to improve network reliability and better protect Canadians.
The CRTC is accepting comments until March 24, 2023. Comments may be submitted by:
- filling out the online form;
- writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2, or
- sending a fax to 819-994-0218.
All comments will form part of the public record and will inform the CRTC’s decision.
The CRTC expects to launch additional consultations, which may examine measures to enhance network resiliency, access to emergency services, consumer communication and compensation, the impact of outages on accessibility services and the imposition of penalties on service providers.
“Canadians need reliable, high-quality telecommunications services. We are taking action to lessen the disruptive impact of service outages on Canadians, reduce their occurrence and length, and ensure that essential services such as 911 and emergency alerts are always available.”
- Vicky Eatrides, Chairperson and CEO, CRTC
The CRTC is hiring an independent firm to review Rogers Communications’ mitigation plan to prevent serious outages, such as the one that affected its network in July 2022.
The CRTC will, in collaboration with ISED, commission a report on the measures employed by telecommunications regulators internationally to make networks more reliable and resilient against vulnerabilities and threats that may lead to a telecommunication service outage.
The CRTC has an ongoing proceeding on telecommunications services in the Far North, through which it is examining the reliability of Northwestel’s network.
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