Both fixed-line and mobile electronic information are dependent on electricity. Large sections of the electricity network have either already been or are planned to be buried under ground. It has been decided that overhead power lines will still be required for many years to come – particularly in the northern parts of Sweden. Interruptions to the electricity supply will continue to occur in the future, for example as a result of damage to overhead lines caused by exreme weather events.
A warmer climate leads to heavier rainfall, which in turn may result in more flooding. If bridges carrying important electrical cables are washed away, entire regions will risk being without power, which could also result in the disruption and interruption of electrical communications.
Even fibre cables that are used for electronic communication could also be washed away in the event of major flooding. Damage directly caused to the networks for electronic communication could also result in interruptions and disruption to electronic communication in the affected areas.
Adaptations for electronic communication
A more robust electricity network, with a larger proportion of cables buried beneath the ground, will mean that power outages will occur less often. This reduces the vulnerability of electronic communications. Overhead power lines within the electricity network are particularly vulnerable to the effects of weather and, above all, storms. The burying of power cables reduces the proportion of overhead lines, thereby making the power supply network less sensitive to weather.
The climate adaptation of electronic communications includes measures that contribute to the increased robustness of the systems involved – for example, the redirection of pipelines for cables beneath waterways, instead of across bridges. This reduces the risk that dam breaches caused by rising water levels could destroy bridges carrying such lines for electronic communication.
The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority requires providers of electronic communication services to take measures to reduce disruption and downtime caused by weather-related threats, such as wind, flooding, landslips and fire.