Move to cut cell phone, internet services in national emergencies
ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to cut use of cell phones and internet services during any national emergency declared by the federal or provincial government.
This will be achieved through regulations introduced under the upcoming telecommunication policy. “Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) with the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) will develop regulations, and licensees will adopt regulations that apply when a regional or national emergency has been declared by federal government or a provincial government in the legally required manner,” it was stated in the draft of telecommunication policy, a copy of which is available with The News here on Monday.
These regulations in case of declared emergency are required to limit the users of the network to a pre-defined set of subscribers and/or devices; Establish secure telecommunications services between the pre-defined set of subscribers and/or devices and establish standard operating procedures for the effective use of such networks during an emergency.
The PTA will put in place regulations to provide a single coordinated response node, with telephone and Internet related access that is accessible by subscribers.The NDMA will develop a programme to encourage the use of ICT in prediction, monitoring, and early warning of disasters and dissemination of information.
The PTA in conjunction with the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) will develop a National Disaster Telecommunications Plan.The policy directive on security and improvement of national telecom and information services through inter-operator network redundancies will continue.
The PTA will assess the Federal government and the provincial government’s requirements for critical telecommunications infrastructure and services.Specific elements of critical telecommunications infrastructure will be identified by the PTA and regulations put in place to maintain and replace that infrastructure such that it is available at times of emergency and coordinate the many suppliers of such infrastructure.
The PTA, in conjunction with the NDMA, will develop regulations, and licensees will adopt regulations that apply when a regional or national emergency has been declared by Federal government or a provincial government in the legally required manner.