Telecom Commission Letter addressed to Various Parties Interested

Ottawa, 13 September 2019

Our reference: 8660-C12-201000116 and 8000-C12-201909780

BY EMAIL

Mr. Philippe Gauvin
Assistant General Counsel
Bell Canada
Floor 19
160 Elgin St.
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2C4
bell.regulatory@bell.ca

Ms. Michelle Dupuis
Senior Regulatory Legal Counsel
TELUS Communications Inc.
215 Slater Street,
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 0A6
michelle.dupuis@telus.com

Ms. Natalie MacDonald
Vice President - Regulatory Matters
Bragg Communications Incorporated (Eastlink)
6080 Young Street, Suite 801
Halifax Nova Scotia B3K 5L2
regulatory.matters@corp.eastlink.ca

Mr. Howard Slawner
Vice President - Regulatory Telecom
Rogers Communications Canada Inc.
350 Bloor Street East
Toronto Ontario M4W 0A1
rwi_gr@rci.rogers.com

Re:  Request for Information regarding major telecommunications disruptions

In recent days, various media outlets have reported on the service outages affecting your customers after hurricane Dorian swept through the Atlantic region on 7 September 2019. According to these reports, customers were unable to connect to phone networks or had limited connectivity, and many indicated that they were left with no way to call for help or seek critical information.

According to the media reports, power outages impacted a number of the wireless cell sites and other communication facilities, and most cellphone towers are vulnerable to failure during extended power outages due to limited backup power.

In exercising its powers and performing its duties under the Telecommunications Act, the Commission must implement the Canadian telecommunications policy objectives set out in section 7 of that Act, including to render reliable and affordable telecommunications services of high quality accessible to Canadians in both urban and rural areas in all regions of Canada.

Accordingly, Commission staff requests the following information by 18 September 2019. Please provide comprehensive answers, including rationale and any supporting information.

  1. Provide, by province, for each day between 7 September 2019 and 16 September 2019, a high-level estimate of the number of customers affected by outages of 24 hours or more caused by the hurricane, for each of phone, mobile wireless, and Internet access services.
  2. Indicate the steps taken to date and plans to address any remaining service outages across the affected region.
  3. Describe the measures taken to inform your customers and the public of the situation affecting your network and recovery efforts.
  4. Describe any measures taken to improve network resiliency and recovery prior to this event and any measures, if any, planned for the future due to this event.

Sincerely,

Original signed by

Michel Murray
Director, Dispute Resolution & Regulatory Implementation
Telecommunications Sector

c.c.:  Wendy McClintock, CRTC, 819-639-6211, wendy.mcclintock@crtc.gc.ca

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