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Infrastructure Security: The ORSEC project in Telecommunications

The National Contingency Plan ORSEC is part of the action of the State in the planning and organization of relief operations to manage natural disasters and other incidents which cause damage to human lives and infrastructure, especially those resulting from the incidents of major risks.


In conformity with articles 44 and 45 of the law 04-20 of 25 December 2004 on prevention of major risks and management of disasters, in the framework of sustainable development, the ORSEC Plan in telecommunications is the set of measures aimed at developing and maintaining a reliable and secure national telecommunications network which is able to overcome any malfunction or failure of the later.

These measures should be based on the latest Information Technologies and Communication in order to optimize, coordinate, prevent, sensitize and therefore enhance the action of the sector in its mission to reduce the effects of major risks disaster.

The ORSEC plan objectives include :

  •  The provision of reliable and adequate means of communication in managing the of consequences of major risk disasters
  •  The diversification of interconnection points with international networks
  •  Securing strategic nodal switching centers and transmission

1. Monitoring and maintaining the existing ORSEC plan

The National Emergency Telecommunications Plan ORSEC is currently deployed in eight regions: Algiers, Chlef, Oran, Constantine, Setif, Annaba and Ouargla and Bechar. It is composed of two solutions, the first relies on connecting subscribers via a system of Wireless towable containers, and the second relies on a wired system. This plan is meant to :

  •  Be deployed quickly and efficiently in the regions affected by disasters in order to mitigate the effects of disasters and managing relief operations
  •  Partly substitute telecommunications networks damaged during a disaster
  •  To provide means of communication and information in case of disasters, for state institutions, administrations, public and private enterprises, officials responsible for crisis management and population

In order to ensure the usability of this plan, periodical actions shall be undertaken particularly in :

  •  Inspecting the serviceability the equipment, replace or repair, if necessary, the defective equipment
  •  Assessing tabletop exercises of the plan ORSEC on the ground and improving the organizational processes to optimize emergency deployments

2. ORSEC plan in its latest version

As part of the strategy of the Ministry of Post and Technologies of Information and Communication about the strengthening of means of response and relief operations, and with an optic to assess the composition of ORSEC plan for telecommunications, a new plan is under preparation.
The new approach aims at optimizing and improving the implementation of ORSEC plan, to ensure the fast and efficient management during a disaster, meaning new technological solutions and a dispatching based on the distribution of population and the size of regions by taking into account the existing telecommunications infrastructure.
Furthermore, and in order to supplement and strengthen this plan, it is expected, the creation of an ORSEC command and control center, and an Information System for Management of risks.
These additional systems will allow to effectively improving management of crisis assist with decision, to implement emergency plans, and strengthen local capacity for response.

3. The completion of the connection Oran - Valencia (ORVAL)

This project, initiated by the government is subscribed in the ORSEC plan following incidents in the 2000s causing the isolation of Algeria from the rest of the world will help to :

  •  Reinforce and effectively protect (redundancy in case of natural disaster) the two undersea links -Palma Algiers (ALPAL2) in the center and Annaba - Marseille (SMW4) to the east
  •  To offer a variety of international cable landing points
  •  To increase the capacity of the historic operator Algérie Télécom in the field of communications and broadband Internet
  •  Algérie Télécom has to enter the international market

The project includes the design, supply, installing and long-term support of the Submarine Cable System and will be integrated to the telecommunications submarine and terrestrial networks on both sides of the Mediterranean, thus procuring Algeria and its partners great traffic fluidity.
The procurement contract was signed, the project is being launched.