The Working Group on "Forest Fires - Measures for the Protection and Resilience of Electronic Communications Infrastructure", which was set up and coordinated by ANACOM, presented its final report on 29 May 2018 with a set of 27 measures to enhance the protection and resilience of electronic communications infrastructure in Portugal, especially in the event of forest fires (ANACOM coordinated working group identifies 27 measures to protect telecommunications networks in the event of firehttps://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1454402).
This group concluded that radio links provide a more resilient alternative to aerial communications cables and may also provide a solution to improve network redundancy. The group also concluded that a reduction in spectrum fees would offer an incentive to the use of radio links. In this respect, ANACOM is making a proposal to the Government for a reduction in the value of spectrum fees, particularly in the areas of Portugal that can and should benefit from improvements in the resilience and redundancy of electronic communications infrastructure through the use of radio links - areas which are particularly susceptible in the event of fire or other natural disasters. This concerns about 70% of the country's parishes.
ANACOM proposes that the value of the fee per radio link, when the location of at least one fixed station is within the territory of one of these susceptible parishes, should be reduced by 50%, allowing operators immediate savings to the order of 3.5 million euros per year and providing a strong incentive to invest in this solution.
The fees applied to use of frequencies are intended as a way of ensuring the sound management of resources and their efficient use. They should therefore reflect the intrinsic value of the radio spectrum allocated in line with the public interest, in particular as regards protecting the interests of citizens, for which the security and integrity of electronic communications networks and services are critical factors.
To ensure achievement of the intended results, it is also of particular importance to conduct periodic monitoring, to be performed by ANACOM, to verify deployment of the relevant radio links by companies offering electronic communications networks.