The British government will simulate a shutdown of the national phone network next week in an exercise involving hundreds of government and industry players. The exercise - codenamed “White Noise” - is designed to simulate a catastrophic nationwide communications failure. It’s the first time the United Kingdom has conducted such a large scale exercise -- White Noise will simulate a total national collapse of the traditional public switched telephone network. There will be no impact on those not involved in the exercise. Officials will monitor the government’s ability to respond in a coordinated way, including keeping Parliament and the public informed. Data and mobile communications will remain intact.

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