The Telecom Industry Responds to COVID-19 (Updated as of May 22, 2020)

April 20, 2020

The COVID-19 virus has disrupted the lives of all Canadians, and as a result, staying connected is more important than ever. The telecom industry is playing a vital role in helping Canadians implement practices that are critical to containing the spread of the virus, while at the same time enabling Canadians to stay in touch with loved ones, sustain economic activity and receive critical services.

The following are just a few of the key steps that Canada’s telecom industry has taken to help Canadians during this difficult time, with more being done every day.

To see an aggregate list of steps taken please visit here.  (Updated as of May 22, 2020)

Networks and Services

During this crisis, Canada’s facilities-based telecommunications service providers, the companies that build and operate Canada’s telecommunications networks, are focused on ensuring Canadians can continue to rely on high-quality networks and services to which they are accustomed.  Years of investing in network infrastructure and operations have resulted in networks that are incredibly resilient in the face of intensified network traffic and altered usage patterns. Network operators are monitoring their networks 24/7, adding capacity as needed, and are working closely with governments, hospitals, and other essential services to ensure they receive the critical support they require.

Support for Customers

Facilities-based service providers have taken steps to make the transition to working from home easier.  Measures include waiving of certain wireless service fees and lifting of data caps on home and small business internet plans.  Service providers are also offering flexible payment options to those experiencing financial difficulties during this time.

Retail and customer support operations have been modified to protect the health and safety of the public and their employees.  Customers are encouraged to use on-line and phone service options wherever possible. Where in-person visits are required, service providers are following 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.

For the protection of the public and employees, many retail locations have been temporarily closed. Select retail locations remain open to provide essential emergency services, but have adjusted their operations to adhere to physical distancing requirements and implemented enhanced cleaning procedures. Customers can find details on which locations are open by visiting their service provider’s website.

Support for the Community

In addition to their customary support for community organizations, Canada’s facilities-based service providers have announced initiatives in support of organizations that are helping Canadians during this difficult time. Some of the organizations receiving assistance 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.

These are just some of the important steps taken by Canada’s facilities-based telecom providers. For specific information from your provider, please visit your service provider’s website.