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Organized power cut-offs

Since September 2014, ISPA has been a privileged partner of the BIPT in assessing approaches and solutions regarding the issue of the organized power cut-offs, that are expected this winter and in the coming years. During several meetings with the BIPT, ISPA, together with ISPs, operators, the Crisis Center, FOD/SPF Economy and other sector stakeholders, discussed the possible consequences of a black-out for the internet sector and worked towards solutions to minimize the impact for consumers and businesses.

In the last few weeks, several instances produced the output of this exercise. FOD/SPF Economy, for example, started its ‘OFF-ON’ campaign as a way to sensitize the public and give tips on how to rationalise energy use during fragile periods. BIPT themselves released an FAQ for businesses and consumers, giving an overview and answers to some of the most pressing questions, based on the discussions held in the previous months.

Access to internet and telephone, for example, is not always guaranteed even if you are in a zone that would not be cut-off. Cable connections sometimes originate in cut-off zones, which then no longer operate when cut-off at the source. ISPs and operators also stressed that consumers are advised to disconnect modems, routers and other end-equipment before the black-outs, to minimize potential damage done by cutting the power abruptly. Businesses, furthermore, are recommended to get in touch with their operator, to test their infrastructure beforehand.

In the upcoming weeks, ISPA will remain on top of the issue and present on further meetings with BIPT. These would discuss the evaluation of this joint exercise in the light of possible black-outs in the winters to come.