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Telecoms agree to help each other in future outages

Tbaytel is among the companies signing a formal agreement
Cell phone 911

THUNDER BAY — Canada's wireless telecommunications providers have formally agreed to help each other in the event of a future network outage such as the one that affected the Rogers network in July.

Tbaytel is among 13 companies to sign an agreement committing them to provide emergency roaming and other mutual assistance in the case of a major outage.

Tbaytel mobility customers  were among the millions of people affected when Rogers' system went down, because the two companies have a business relationship under which Tbaytel relies on some of Rogers' hardware and software technologies.

The federal government ordered all telecoms to find a way to back each other up and to agree on a protocol for communicating with the public and government during major outages.

The agreement takes effect Friday.

"Should one of these providers be faced with a major network outage, the other companies have committed to provide the support and assistance necessary so that Canadians can reach loved ones, access 911, and conduct business transactions," Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Francois-Philippe Champagne announced Wednesday.

He said they have also agreed to providing "clear and timely communications" to keep the public and authorities informed about response and restoration plans during future outages.

The minister added that he is taking additional steps to ensure telecom network resiliency.

These include instructing the Canadian Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee to implement further measures in the next six months to provide for robust and reliable telecom services across the country.

— TBNewsWatch