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Cell phone and internet blackouts are coming across the globe?

Cell phone and internet blackouts are coming across the globe? 1
A man stands in front of a video installation during the Russian Energy Week International Forum in Moscow, Russia October 14, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

It was once unthinkable, but he incident with the Nord Stream 1 and 2 submarine pipelines highlighted another very serious issue. Russian social media accounts recalled – apparently not by accident – to post an uncomfortable globe map.

It depicts the thousands upon thousands of meters of different overseas cables that cross entire continents and to a large extent are currently keeping modern civilization standing.

In the event of even a mini-world war, without even dropping nukes, along with telecommunications satellites, fiber optic cables will be the first target:

How are submarine cables protected?

The entire world is highly dependent on undersea infrastructure, mainly cables through which the Internet flows, but also energy transmission networks such as natural gas and oil pipelines.

In the construction and installation of submarine cables, the focus is on operational security and typically no attack protection measures or ideas are provided. This is also due to the fact that projects are usually not carried out by states, but by private companies, which are also responsible for safety.

But even if one declares that cables and pipelines are critical infrastructure, it is not easy from a legal point of view how this could be regulated in international waters.

It is also technically difficult to protect submarine cables across the surface as the undersea cables between the US and Europe are nearly 6,000 kilometers long. Areas can be monitored with sensors, but acts of sabotage are extremely difficult to prevent.

An attack on these infrastructures would be an absolutely suicidal act since no one would most likely endure this and everything would end with a preventive disarming strike. As recent history has shown, there are clearly obsessed people sitting on their game thrones now, making decisions based on chicken foot predictions. 

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Blackouts are coming across Europe due to the energy crisis?

Once unthinkable, it is still possible that cell phones across Europe will have no signal this winter if power outages or power cuts knock out parts of cell networks across the region.

As reported by Reuters, several representatives of the telecommunications industry are already expressing concern that widespread power outages, or a reduction in the daily power supply time, will bring disruption to cell telephony services. This will happen since many European countries do not have enough backup systems to deal with major blackouts.

In particular, Europe has almost half a million telecommunication towers, most of which have battery backups that can keep mobile antennas working for about thirty minutes an hour.

Therefore, the risk of being without mobile phones at certain hours of the day is visible, and now providers are asking to be included in critical infrastructures that will not be affected by power outages, such as hospitals.

Due to power outages, increased risks will also arise in the area of ​​communication, which will require special intervention by governments.

Currently, European Union countries, including France, Sweden and Germany, are trying to ensure that communications can continue even if power outages drain the backup batteries installed in the thousands of mobile phone antennas that are scattered in their territory.

It is noted that the competent Swedish agency is already working with telecommunications companies and other government agencies to find solutions.

In Germany, Deutsche Telekom has 33,000 cell towers, and its mobile emergency systems can only support a small number of them at a time, a company spokesman said.

The company will use mobile emergency power systems based mainly on diesel, in case of prolonged power outages.

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