Canada Access

OpenMedia calls for federal investigation of today’s Internet outage

Poor network management threatens Canadian economy and safety during COVID-19

Aug 6, 2020 —  At approximately 11:40 AM EDT today critical network infrastructure run by Bell and Telus failed across Ontario and Québec, stranding millions of Eastern Canadians without Internet connections during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“What happened today, and how can we know it won’t happen again? We need clear truthful answers and we aren’t going to get them if the government doesn’t step in,” said OpenMedia Campaigns Director Matt Hatfield. “Just this morning, Bell CEO Mirko Bibic was telling his shareholders Bell runs Canada’s most reliable networks. And yet a few hours later, we saw his network serving our two largest provinces fail catastrophically, kicking millions of Canadians offline for an extended period during critical work, medical emergencies, and much more.”

“The Internet is a critical daily service today, all the more so during COVID 19. We can’t afford for this to happen again,” added Hatfield. “We’re all familiar with the poor performance we get when the Big 3 is left to self manage prices and data caps; on both metrics, Canada is amongst the least competitive countries in the world. Now, reliability is at stake too? The Internet is far too important to both our work and safety for us to just hope they patch it up and do better next time.”

As of 2 PM EDT, it was unclear if all affected telecom users had had their service restored.

About OpenMedia

OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. We create community-driven campaigns to engage, educate, and empower people to safeguard the Internet.

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OpenMedia works to keep the Internet open, affordable, and surveillance-free. We create community-driven campaigns to engage, educate, and empower people to safeguard the Internet.

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