A Message from CWTA President & CEO Robert Ghiz concerning COVID-19

March 17, 2020

Updated: April 6, 2020

CWTA and its Members know that the ongoing situation regarding the COVID-19 virus outbreak is unsettling and has disrupted the lives of many people.  In the face of such disruptions, staying connected is more important than ever. 

Our industry remains focused on ensuring that Canadians can continue to rely on our high-quality wireless networks. Our Members are also committed to protecting the health and safety of the public and their employees.

 

Some of the measures taken are set out below. However, because the situation is evolving rapidly, information presented below may soon become outdated. We encourage you to check your wireless provider’s website and social media channels for additional information and future updates.

 

Network and Services

Canada’s wireless networks are recognized as being among the best in the world and our Members remain focused on keeping you connected.  With many people being asked to work away from their office, traffic patterns for our home internet and wireless are changing.  Our wireless service providers are monitoring their networks in real time and have added capacity to their networks when needed.  They are also working closely with government, hospitals, and other essential services to ensure they receive the critical support they require.  

 

Customers

1. Service Plans

To make this transition easier for Canadians, our network operator members quickly adjusted their service plans to reflect increases in home internet use and mobile calling. These adjustments include waiving of mobile long distance and international roaming fees, lifting of data caps on home and small business internet plans, and free public-wifi. They are also offering flexible payment options to Canadians experiencing financial difficulties during this time.

2. Health & Safety

The health and safety of customers is paramount. Our Members’ customer service channels are available to assist you throughout this situation.

 

With respect to retail store locations, for the protection of the public and employees, many retail locations have been temporarily closed. Please check your provider’s website or call before visiting a retail location to determine if a specific location is open and its hours of operation.

Members also continue to monitor the advice and guidelines of public safety and health officials, and have implemented additional safety measures for technicians who visit homes and businesses for service calls.

Those feeling unwell should refrain from visiting public places and use the available on-line and phone customer service channels. 

 

The Community

In addition to their regular ongoing support for community organizations, our Members have announced new initiatives in support of organizations that are helping Canadians during this difficult time. Some of the organizations receiving help include Canadian Red Cross, Canadian Mental Health Association, Kids Help Phone, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada, Women’s Shelters Canada, Food Banks Canada and Community Food Centres Canada.

Mobile Giving Foundation Canada, with support from CWTA, is waiving all application and renewal fees through to May 31, 2020 for new and returning charities. This will make it that much easier for Canadian registered charities to raise money through the text-to-donate channel. Visit mobilegiving.ca for more information, including current donation options.

Employees

Our Members have also taken action to protect their workforce, including increased sanitation measures and other steps to ensure a safe working environment.

 

Cleaning Mobile Devices

Just as it is important to regularly wash your hands, it is important that you also regularly clean “high touch” surfaces, including your mobile device.  Please check your device manufacturer’s website for recommendations and guidelines for cleaning your mobile device.

 

We know that events arising from the COVID-19 virus are unsettling and that you rely on mobile wireless communications to get information and stay in touch with your family and loved ones. As always, our industry is committed to delivering reliable and high-quality wireless services to Canadians.  Please stay safe and continue to monitor and follow the recommendations of our federal, provincial and local health officials.