German govt to decide on energy emergency communication after MP's vote
Clean Energy Wire
German energy industry lobby group BDEW and local utility association VKU have welcomed a decision by the country's Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) advisory board, consisting of members of parliament, to provide the energy sector with its own digital radio frequency by November 2020 at the latest. "We welcome that the speed of the further process is increased significantly," said BDEW head Kerstin Andreae and VKU head Ingbert Liebing. Using the 450 megahertz (MHz) frequencies for the energy sector meant critical infrastructure in the country can be protected better and energy supply security for citizens is increased, the organisation argued. "This is a strong signal from our parliament and from the council of state governments for our national security." The MPs’ vote adds pressure on the federal government to make a final decision regarding the currently vacant 450 MHz frequency, for which also the police, ambulances, firefighters and the German military had applied.
Germany's energy industry has argued that the dedicated frequency will be needed to ensure greater security as the country's energy system is becoming more decentralised and reliant on digital services, in particular smart meters. Germany's Federal Network Agency BNetzA said the frequency must be made available to energy companies to make sure basic services are quickly restored in case of a blackout, even though police and emergency services could be allowed to use it as well.