A busy week for news

Fortunately, where I am sitting the weather hasn’t been a distraction this week that might have otherwise torn me away from time in front of my screens.

And thankfully, my rural fixed wireless connectivity remained intact, enabling me to participate in media interviews and share information on Twitter during the Rogers network outage last week.

Here is a partial listing of media appearances over the past week:

With a lot of misinformation circulating during the outage, I tried to be helpful and measured. For example, last Friday, as stories emerged about difficulties completing emergency calls, I provided advice that most phones in Canada should be able to reach 9-1-1 without a SIM card.

There were some wild statements circulating from people stepping way beyond their areas of expertise. I don’t intend to give them more attention by linking to the error filled statements and stories. Hopefully, before politicians weigh in at Friday’s meeting of the Parliamentary Industry Committee, at least some of them will learn about Canada’s existing foreign ownership regulations. And as I discussed in March, Canada’s communications sector is less concentrated than our peers in the G7 and Australia.

During the week ending July 3, Cisco’s Thousand Eyes identified 283 network outages worldwide, 148 of them in the US. The following week, the Rogers outage didn’t even rank as the worst. KDDI, Japan’s number 2 carrier, had 40 million customers without service for 3 days.

Unfortunately, the oratory at the Parliamentary committee meetings tends to create heat without casting much illumination, with Parliamentarians asking questions they don’t understand and ignoring answers from subject matter experts, unless the response fits the predetermined narrative.

While the committee sorts through its study, Minister Champagne has already asked Canada’s major facilities-based providers to develop a mutual assistance framework during network outages, including providing emergency roaming, and establishing a communications protocol to improve information distributed to the public during service interruptions. The protocol is expected to be similar to recent Network Resilience notice of proposed rule-making issued last week by the FCC in the United States.

And the CRTC issued a statement identifying that it sent Rogers a letter, requiring answers to detailed questions by July 22.

More news to follow in the coming weeks.

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