CRTC launches consultation on enhancing reliability of Canada’s telecom; imposes interim directive on carriers

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The new head of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is wasting no time in launching efforts to improve the reliability and resilience of Canada’s telecommunications network.

“Canadians need reliable, high-quality telecommunications services,” CRTC chairperson and chief executive officer Vicky Etrides said in a release. “We are taking action to reduce the disruptive impact of service outages on Canadians, reduce their occurrence and length, and ensure that essential services such as 911 and emergency alerts are always available.”

To that end, the CRTC today launched the first of several consultations, this one asking Canadians for their comments on proposed requirements for the reporting of major service outages.

In its call for comments, entitled Development of a regulatory framework for improving the reliability and resilience of networks – mandatory notification and reporting of major telecom service outagesThe CRTC noted that the scale and frequency of outages due to extreme weather, cyber attacks and accidents are increasing, citing factors such as climate change, the growing economic and social importance of telecommunications, and called it a “technical”. Development”.

“As the complexity of telecommunications networks and the importance of communications in the daily lives of Canadians increase, additional measures are needed to improve network reliability and resilience and reduce the impact of service outages,” said the call for comments. explained. “Building on the work of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ised) and the Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee of Canada (cstac), the Commission is taking action to develop a framework for improving the reliability and resilience of telecommunications networks. This notice of consultation is the first step in that process.”

In the meantime, it said, “Pending the outcome of this proceeding, the Commission requires all Canadian carriers to report major service outages (including outages affecting only the 9-1-1 network) to the Commission within two hours.” becomes aware of such outage. Further, the Commission directs the carriers to file a comprehensive report with the Commission within 14 days after the outage. This direction comes into effect from 8 March 2023 ”

In addition, it is hiring an independent firm to review the mitigations Rogers has put in place after July 2022 Outageand will, in collaboration with ISED, commission a report on the measures employed by telecommunications regulators internationally to make networks more reliable and resilient against vulnerabilities and threats that could lead to a telecommunications service outage.

Comments on the Commission’s proposed reporting requirements for carriers, detailed in the call for comments, may be submitted Online, Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0N2, or fax to 819-994-0218. Inputs will be accepted until March 24.

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