Telecommunications operators, as of Monday, can limit or block access to non-essential services to Internet broadband, such as video games and digital platforms, if necessary to protect critical state services.
Digital platforms, such as Netflix it’s the Youtube, as well as the video game signal, may be blocked to ensure the continuity of electronic communications services to hospitals or security forces, a measure already foreseen in the decree that regulates the new state of emergency, on January 14, and similar to the one that was in force in March 2020, in first phase of the covid-19 pandemic in Portugal.
The traffic order is determined by a Government order, published this Saturday morning at Republic Diary and which comes into force “at 0:00 on February 15th”, identifying electronic communications services considered critical and customers considered priority, to whom companies must guarantee the continuity of services.
The goal is prevent network congestion effects, enabling companies that offer public communications networks or electronic communications services accessible to the public, “whenever strictly necessary”, to prioritize the routing of certain categories of traffic and the provision of critical services such as voice and short messages ( SMS) supported on fixed and mobile networks, uninterrupted access to emergency services, uninterrupted transmission of warnings to the population and the distribution of linear television and digital terrestrial television signals.
“With the country returning to a context of public health emergency, aggravated in relation to the previous situation, it is essential to ensure the uninterrupted provision of such critical services to the population in general, generally subject to the situation of permanence in their homes, with an impact direct and meaningful in the requirements of capacity management of fixed and mobile networks support to electronic communications services “, justifies the executive in the diploma published today.
The decree-law defines priorities in the routing of certain categories of traffic, defining a decreasing order of priorities, counting on top of the priorities, namely, services and bodies of the Ministry of Health, of the Integrated System of Emergency and Security Networks of Portugal, regarding the functioning of this system, of the Ministry of Internal Administration, regarding the functioning of the National Internal Security Network and the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection.
Public services “especially lacking support”, such as, in particular, Social Security, the Institute of Registries and Notaries, regarding the services of the online citizen card and the digital mobile key, the Management Center of the IT Network of the Government, the Diário da República Eletrônico, the Agency for Administrative Modernization, the National Maritime Authority and the National Aeronautical Authority, also have priority.
As well as the Regulatory Entity for Social Communication or Banco de Portugal, and the services and bodies of the Ministry of Education, as well as the corresponding services and bodies in the autonomous regions, including school clusters and non-grouped schools in the public school education, private, cooperative and social and solidarity education establishments, and other entities providing distance learning services, as well as entities that provide basic training and educational tools online.
The priority, according to the diploma, is not only in traffic forwarding, but also regarding troubleshooting and disturbances: “Companies offering public communications networks or publicly available electronic communications services should give priority to resolving malfunctions and disturbances in electronic communications networks and services” for customers classified as priority.