Parliament approves secure national data network for emergencies
A sum of CHF150 million ($151.2 million) will be set aside to develop a secure Swiss data network that will help crisis communications during emergency situations.
On Monday, the Senate voted in favour of the proposal that will enable the federal and cantonal governments to communicate better during a crisis. Currently, authorities responsible for protecting the population are often obliged to use public networks, whose security and accessibility during an emergency are not guaranteed. Several exercises have shown that, if a power outage were to occur, telecommunications systems would be relatively ineffective.
The proposed secure system will have backup power for at least 14 days, said Defence Minister Viola Amherd. Protection against cyber attacks will also be provided.
The communications system is intended for federal and cantonal governments and security authorities, as well as the response centres of the cantonal police forces, the Swiss Army and critical infrastructure operators. Around 120 entities will be able to exchange broadband data. Currently, existing infrastructure is already being used for this purpose but new fibre optic networks will be set up if needed.
This CHF150 million budget will be released in three instalments and the communications network is expected to be ready by 2027.