Skip to main content

Electric and Telecommunications Cables: Seas and Oceans

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL3740, tabled on 4 November 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether the resilience of subsea cables will be considered in the new National Resilience Strategy; whether they plan to designate subsea cables as critical national infrastructure; and if not, what steps they are taking to increase the resilience of the UK's subsea cables.

Answered on

18 November 2021

Due to their sensitivity, the Government does not comment on assets, facilities, systems, networks or processes that are classified as Critical National Infrastructure. However, the Government takes the security and resilience of sub-sea cables very seriously and work is ongoing to take these considerations into account throughout the development of a National Resilience Strategy, as set out in the Integrated Review published earlier this year.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is the lead department for sub-sea telecommunications cables and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for sub-sea energy cables. Both departments consider, on a case-by-case basis, assets considered critical infrastructure, including sub-sea infrastructure. Operators have arrangements in place to ensure a prompt response to damage or disruption. The departments work closely with the operators, regulators and others to assess risks and ensure there are appropriate resilience and mitigation measures in place.