Telephone cables inside a cabinet

Ofcom proposes updated guidance for telecoms network resilience

Published: 8 December 2023
Last updated: 8 December 2023

Ofcom has today proposed to update its resilience guidance to provide greater clarity on how UK telecoms companies can reduce the risk of network outages.

As more and more people rely on the internet to stay connected both at home and work, having resilient telecoms networks is vital to both consumers and businesses across the UK.

Communications providers have a legal obligation to identify, prepare for and reduce the risk of anything that compromises the availability, performance or functionality of their network or service.

We are proposing to update our resilience guidance for communications providers, which sets out the measures we expect them to take to keep their networks running. This includes:

  • making sure networks are designed to avoid, or reduce, single points failure;
  • making sure key infrastructure points have automatic failover functionality built in, so that traffic is immediately diverted to another device or site when equipment fails; and
  • setting out the processes, tools and training that should be considered to support the requirements on resilience.

Power backup for mobile networks

Separately, we are also calling for input on power backup for mobile networks. These networks are dependent on electrical power to function, and outages can cause service disruption for customers.

Currently, the amount of battery backup in place varies by mobile network operator (MNO). We want to start a discussion about what power backup MNOs can and should provide for their networks and services, with a view to implementing this in our guidance in the future, and/or working with industry and Government to identify and pursue other ways to address this issue.

We are inviting responses to our consultation and call for input by 5pm on Friday 1 March 2024. We intend to publish our decision on the resilience guidance, and next steps on mobile power resilience, in summer 2024.

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