The Dutch government has assigned Eurofiber the status of ‘vital infrastructure’. This designation underlines the importance of Eurofiber for the fabric of Dutch society.
Certain processes are so vital for Dutch society that failure or disruption leads to serious social disruption and poses a threat to national security. These processes form the Dutch vital infrastructure. A large number of crucial organisations, such as hospitals, municipalities and other government bodies, are connected to the nationwide fibre optic network at Eurofiber. Various essential services, such as traffic lights and brochures, also operate via the Eurofiber network.
The status of vital infrastructure also means that the government will give Eurofiber a helping hand when and where necessary. Examples of this are, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, support in the field of ICT by the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) or alerts from the NCTV in the event of a terrorist threat.
Internet access, electricity, drinking water and payment services are examples of essential processes that keep our society running. It is absolutely crucial for these vital processes to continue working normally. Organizations that are fundamentally responsible for ensuring the uninterrupted continuation of these processes are considered vital service providers. It is important for them to be aware of the roles and responsibilities they have as vital service providers. These aspects need to be meticulously defined so they can be invoked in the event of a crisis.
Vital service providers accept the responsibilities and determine on their own initiative what is needed to safeguard those vital processes and continue developing them. Government ministries formulate policy, laws and regulations. They also work with vital service providers on projects to improve resilience. The managing board of the security region arranges preparations for disaster management and crisis control, working close consultation with police, the Ministry of Defense, the water boards, and the vital service providers themselves.
Preparing for a crisis
When a crisis occurs, the government ministries can ask the vital service providers for assistance. During emergency situations, vital service providers may be assigned top priority. We practice to make sure we’re prepared – groups of service providers, government authorities, and all of us together. In view of this collaborative environment, and the importance of this role, we need to get to know each other, to learn from each other, and to learn how we need to work together during a crisis. By doing so, we learn which processes we need to monitor, and what we can do to be even more prepared.
Source vital infrastructure: Ministry of Economic Affairs