The adoption of measures for the protection and resilience of electronic communications infrastructure is more effective and the costs lower where identified and implemented sooner during their life cycle, i.e. during planning and implantation1.
In terms of maximising social benefit resulting from the adoption of these measures, it is important to bear in mind the objective of guaranteeing continuity in the provision of electronic communications services in places where, in case of failure, the resulting negative effects would be most severe for the community, particularly where impacting decision-making and support centres and emergency network support points.
In this sense, priority should be given to electronic communications infrastructure supporting accesses to networks at seats of local government, since these locations have a concentration of a set of elements which are basic to the functioning of the community and which provide a set of essential services, namely:
- Seat of local government corresponding to the decision-making centre, where municipal services responsible for security and civil protection are based;
- Fire stations;
- Hospitals/Health Centres/Pharmacies;
- Security authority stations/posts;
- Schools/points of collection and assistance to the population; or
- Centres for the supply of food, fuel and other essential goods
On the other hand, with analysis being made as to the adoption of measures to provide for the protection and resilience of electronic communications infrastructure to forest fire hazards, it is important to take into account the assessment made by the ICNF, within the scope of the National Forest Fire Protection System2, as to the dangers of rural fires, giving priority to the geographical areas of most probable occurrence, i.e. areas classified as "High" (class IV) and "Very high" (class V) hazard.
The adoption of these measures, in particular those which are the subject of ITU-T recommendations, requires the development of technical knowledge, in terms of know-how and capacity to plan and acquire, the development of an appropriate legal and regulatory framework and the establishment of new interconnections between economic agents in terms of production chains resulting in new infrastructure or alteration of existing infrastructure.
The proposed measures seek to improve the security and integrity of electronic communications networks and services and the formulation, approval and establishment of a new legal and regulatory framework to govern the planning, construction, reconstruction, reconversion and installation of electronic communications infrastructure and of infrastructure suitable for carrying electronic communications. To this end, it is also important to establish technical standards and regulations for the construction and protection of infrastructure against fire and other natural disasters, in accordance with best practice and with ITU-T recommendations, taking into account the legal regime set out by the LCE and DL 123/2009.
To this end, ANACOM considers it essential to ensure the involvement and prior consultation of a number of public and private entities, such as the Assembleia da República (Assembly of the Republic), the Government, municipalities, electronic communications companies, machine manufacturers and installers.
ANACOM will proceed with the above action plan and with the promotion of actions to strengthen coordination between the public and private entities involved, the promotion of infrastructure-sharing and reduction of costs. ANACOM will also work to develop technological knowledge in relation to the construction and installation of electronic communications infrastructure, in particular through workshops and working groups, and maximizing the benefits of using geographic information systems.