Thank you, Mr. Chair.
Thank you very much, members, for inviting us to appear before your committee.
I note here that we're on traditional unceded Algonquin territory, and I'd like to pay respect to their elders.
I'm very pleased to speak to you today about the Rogers national outage.
As you mentioned, I'm joined by two of my colleagues—Ms. Gilfillan remotely and Michel with me here.
I would begin by saying that, as you know, the widespread outage disrupted millions of Canadians and Canadian businesses across the country. Most importantly, it prevented access to services such as 911, emergency alerting and other critical infrastructure services. That is simply unacceptable.
Canadians rely on wireless and Internet services in their day-to-day lives. They depend on them to be productive at work and at school and to remain connected to their families and, of course, to essential services.
The CRTC takes the safety, security, and wellness of Canadians very seriously and one of our key objectives is that Canadians always have access to a reliable and efficient communications system.
The stability and resilience of telecom networks have been and continue to be a major focus of the work of the CRTC. Our focus must be on protecting networks by having contingency plans in place.
It's important to note also that this outage was not the result of a cyber-attack. I know that you've now heard it from the minister and Rogers' CEO themselves, but it is worth repeating. As stated by Rogers, it was caused by a fault in a maintenance upgrade. Rogers must take the necessary steps to prevent another crisis like this one from happening.
As noted by Minister Champagne, Rogers' communications during the outage were unacceptable. Communications with the government were poor, as were communications with other organizations and, most importantly, communications with the public and with its customers. Rogers said it will do better. The CRTC will make sure it does.
As the regulator, what have we done so far? Our first step on July 12 was to request a detailed account from Rogers as to why and how this happened and, more importantly, what measures Rogers is putting in place to prevent such future outages. We received Rogers' response on Friday and immediately began reviewing the information to ensure completeness and adequacy. We are now in the process of determining next steps, but I will assure you that we will act quickly.
We'll also continue to work with ISED and with the Canadian Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee—I'm henceforth going to say CSTAC, as it's easier—in order to implement the three objectives already identified by Minister Champagne. In addition, we'll be co-operating with other government organizations and the industry to identify and address any outstanding technical issues that have been identified. This will include work done by the CRTC's interconnection steering committee's emergency services working group, also known as ESWG, as the effective delivery of 911 calls is, of course, crucial.
We believe in the need to be transparent. We will ensure that Rogers shares everything Canadians need to know about the outage and the measures subsequently put in place.
This is not just about Rogers. Network convergence and climate change events are increasingly putting our networks at risk. That is why, in addition to addressing this outage, along with the initial strong actions announced by Minister Champagne, we will be taking longer-term action to ensure that all telecommunications providers better protect Canadians.
The resiliency of the national communications network is a top priority for the CRTC. We all know it is instrumental to the country's safety, security, and economic integrity.
Mr. Chair and esteemed members, thank you again for the opportunity to speak to you. My colleagues and I would be pleased to try to answer your questions.