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23 Oct 2019, 13:29
Freja Eriksen

Security agency and energy industry compete for Germany's blackout-proof communication line

Tagesspiegel Background

The German Federal Agency for Public Safety Digital Radio (BDBOS) has said it is unwilling to grant the country's energy industry sole use of a blackout-proof communication line, leading 200 companies from the sector to send a letter of complaint to several government representatives in which they warn that a collapse of the country's energy infrastructure would have "devastating consequences," reports Tagesspiegel Background. BDBOS has said it needs the frequencies itself for emergency and rescue services, such as police and fire brigades. The agency has, however, offered to share the frequencies with the energy industry, a solution the latter regards as insufficient. In September, the advisory board of Germany's Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) voted unanimously in favour of providing the energy industry with the vacant 450 megahertz (MHz) digital radio frequency to ensure a safe communication line for the operators of vital energy infrastructure in case of emergencies. In order to "integrate millions of decentralised electricity producers and storage systems" on a single and blackout-proof platform, the use of the frequencies would be an important prerequisite to ensure communication lines remain intact. BNetzA has said the decision should be made by the federal government.

Germany's power supply is among the safest in the world and has shown no signs of growing instability amid the expansion of renewable energy sources. However, both the strain on energy infrastructure due to extreme weather events and potential price speculation on energy markets with adverse effects on the grid have underscored the need for continued safety measures in recent years.

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