Power Supply Dependencies in the Electronic Communications Sector

Electronic communications are the backbone of the EU’s digital society. Article 13a of the EU’s electronic communications Framework directive asks EU Member States to ensure the security and resilience of public electronic communications networks and services. As part of the implementation of Article 13a, National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) in the EU collect reports about incidents with a significant impact on the electronic communications networks and services. Yearly, ENISA publishes an annual report which summarizes these incident reports and provides an aggregate analysis of major outages. As can be seen in the ENISA annual report, power cuts are a dominant cause of severe network and service outages in the EU’s electronic communications sector. In the report “Power Supply Dependencies in the Electronic Communications Sector”, we study these incidents in more detail and we make recommendations to NRAs and electronic communications service providers and to some extent also to actors in the energy sector as well as civil protection authorities. Our recommendations are aimed at improving the electronic communications sector’s ability to withstand and act efficiently after power cuts.

December 16, 2013

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