USTelecom and the White House recognize that the communications industry is one of the nation’s most critical infrastructures and an invaluable resource during a national security crisis.
Our industry invests billions of dollars in networks and critical infrastructure systems to prepare for and restore damage caused by natural and man-made disasters. 9-1-1 call centers, emergency management organizations, and local responder programs can all be called upon at a moment’s notice. This blended approach provides comprehensive communications security that consumers can rely on during a catastrophic event.
Communications companies own, operate, and supply more than 85 percent of the nation’s communications infrastructure. During an event threatening U.S. national security or public safety, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is available to assist with emergency communications and restoration of communications systems. The National Response Framework (NRF) also coordinates federal actions to assist the industry in restoring the public communications infrastructure.
USTelecom works closely with policymakers to support business continuity planning to address possible national security scenarios. We continue to partner with DHS and are active in many national security organizations.
Our overarching goal is to be an informative resource for companies who wish to proactively prepare for any incident which might cause an interruption in broadband communication services to consumers.
With ownership of our nation’s communications infrastructure comes responsibility. Carriers who have proactively prepared to weather a national security incident will fare better during a crisis. Their customers will have the communications resources they need as well.
National security awareness can also provide an opportunity for carriers in the form of an additional revenue stream from providing managed security services to enterprise customers. Many companies’ business recovery capabilities require dedicated circuits and special services to support critical communications needs during a security incident. Other enterprise customers may require technical expertise to help secure their IT networks from cyberthreats. Carriers have the opportunity to help these businesses achieve the highest levels of resiliency for the consumer population.