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House of Commons industry committee to investigate Rogers outage

July 8 outage knocked out ATMs, shut down Interac payments and prevented calls to 911
Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois-Philippe Champagne participates in an announcement, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on Thursday, June 16, 2022. The House of Commons committee on industry and technology will hold a meeting today to discuss the recent Rogers outage.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

The House of Commons industry committee agreed Friday to study the massive Rogers Communications outage that left millions of Canadians in a communications blackout for more than 15 hours last week.

MPs on the committee agreed unanimously to probe what happened during a special meeting today.

The July 8 outage affected Rogers mobile and internet users, knocked out ATMs, shutting down the Interac payments system and preventing calls to 911 services in some Canadian cities.

The committee will hold at least two meetings by the end of the month and invite officials from Rogers, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Committee and Industry Minister François-Philippe Champagne to testify.

It wants answers about the cause of the outage, its impact, and best practices to avoid future outages and to better communicate with the public during such emergencies.

In an email, a Rogers spokesperson confirmed company executives will attend the hearings.

“We will work collaboratively with the members on the Standing Committee on Industry, Science, and Technology to provide details on the cause of the outage and the actions we are taking to enhance the reliability of each of our networks moving forward, including through formal mutual support agreements,” said Rogers in a statement.

The day of the outage Champagne called it “unacceptable” and directed the country’s major telecom companies to reach agreements on emergency roaming, assisting each other during outages and a communication protocol to better inform Canadians during emergencies.

He gave them 60 days to reach a deal.

The telecommunications regulator, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, is also investigating the Rogers outage.

—The Canadian Press

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