PIAC Calls On CRTC To Release Confidential Details From Rogers Outage Filings

You know, if Rogers really wanted to regain to the trust of Canadians, they’d just be a whole lot more transparent about what happened in relation to the outage and what they plan to do about it. But as you know, they haven’t been transparent. Instead they’ve redacted a whole lot of their responses to the CRTC.

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) wants to change that. They have called on the CRTC to release confidential information Rogers filed on the July 8th service outage. You can see the filing here. But here’s why they want this information to be made public:

PIAC submits that if Rogers’ customers are to, at least in part, foot the bill for these significant remedial projects, then customers should know what they’re paying for and when to expect results. More detailed explanations of the investment initiatives will also allow the public to comment on whether the claimed investments are effective and proportionate solutions, and to raise questions on whether the stated plans reflect investments that were already planned or necessary prior to the outage. PIAC submits that due to the likelihood that these additional investment costs will be passed down to customers in the form of higher service prices, the public interest in disclosure outweighs any resulting specific direct harms to Rogers. Without more detailed disclosures, Rogers is asking consumers to simply “trust” that the proposed solutions will effectively fix the problem. However, the outage has significantly eroded public trust in Rogers. Keeping important details about the outage from public scrutiny only serves to further erode that trust. Disslosure of the information on the public record is part of the remedy for this loss of trust. Consumers then can see the exact measures Rogers proposes to fix their systems (at least at a high technical level) and can use their own judgment to consider if Rogers’ plans seem to be such a solution and by extension, whether to trust their public statements of network reliability in the future.

PIAC is 100% correct here. Rogers has only given vague promises as part of their attempt to be “committed to Canadians”. Something that has generated a huge amount of blowback because there’s nothing in there that would allow Canadians to hold them accountable for what they promise that they are going to do. The fact that a third party has to go this route to get information that Rogers should be providing by default into public view really illustrates that Rogers has a lot to hide and they aren’t serious about earning back the trust of Canadians.

I don’t expect Rogers to allow this information to see the light of day. And I expect that this will likely end up in court. Which even if Rogers wins, they lose in the court of public opinion because the public will simply think that they have a lot to hide. Which is why I would suggest to Rogers that they just release this information and let the chips fall where they may.

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