Communications systems are the backbone for much of the critical infrastructure within the United States. The communications sector provides information, such as data, video, and Internet connectivity, for other sectors. This page focuses on the interdependencies between the communications sector and the national infrastructure. It provides information related to interdependent infrastructure from various government information systems, as well as information regarding the collaboration between government and the private sector.

Interdependence is particularly relevant to the public safety community. For example, in the case of a power outage, public safety workers could lose access to critical resources, such as telephones and computers. Several recent large-scale power outages, such as the 2003 Northeast Region Blackout and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, have highlighted the strong interdependencies between the power and communications sectors. Such incidents emphasize the need for locally and independently generated power, which can provide electricity to public safety workers in times of emergency.

The Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) works with the communications industry to develop and implement improvements to help ensure the reliability, redundancy and security of the nation's communications infrastructure. In an effort to reduce vulnerabilities, PSHSB oversees and analyzes network outage reports submitted by communications providers to identify trends in network disruptions. Through this process, PSHSB works with communications providers to facilitate improvements to communications infrastructure dependability.

Interdependencies Resources

The following resources focus on government information related to interdependent infrastructure systems. They provide a more in-depth discussion of this vital information and offer specific plans for vulnerability reduction.

Federal Resources | Sector-Specific Resources | Recommended Sites

Federal Resources

Recommended Information

  • Partnership for Critical Infrastructure Security (PCIS) Business Plan
    PCIS is a non-profit organization formed to address cross-sector critical infrastructure protection and interdependency issues.