In our increasingly networked world, digital infrastructure is a 'lifeline infrastructure system' critical for the functioning of our society and economy. As the global economy progressively becomes digital, the dependence of individuals, businesses and governments on Information and Communication Technologies is increasing, especially with the expansion of the Internet, IT solutions, the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Big Data.
Pivotal Role of Digital Infrastructure
The growing interdependence and interconnectedness of various systems via digital infrastructure implies that disruption to the network will have far reaching effects on services such as finance, logistics, power and linked livelihoods.
Even though exchange of data and information happens across the virtual space, digital communication services depend primarily on technical infrastructure. These include satellites, base transceiver stations, antennas, data centres and submarine cables. Failure, disruption or damage to these due to natural hazards, man-made malevolence grievously impacts individuals, businesses and governments. Disruptions also lead to loss of assets and spill-over effects that are often unaccounted for.
Digital infrastructure also play a vital role in post-disaster response, recovery and reconstruction phases. Failure, disruption, or damage to the physical infrastructure due to hazards, impacts individuals, businesses, and governments, either directly or indirectly. Direct impacts include loss of assets as well as disconnection of users, including government agencies and first responders. As frequency and severity of disasters are increasing, there is an urgent need to adapt and transform the digital infrastructure network.
The telecommunications sector is largely within the private domain. Therefore, collaborative and coordinated efforts between private and government stakeholders are necessary to improve its resilience by setting global best practices and standards in planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and management.
CDRI proposes to study and provide inputs to build the resilience of this infrastructure sector, keeping in mind the following considerations: