Items tagged "BART"

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The Right Cell Phone Policy In Boston.

April 15, 2013 BART , Mobile Communication

The Associated Press reported that cell phone service had been shut down in Boston in the aftermath of today’s tragic Boston Marathon bombing. Happily, this report — sourced to an anonymous official — appears to be mistaken. Verizon and Sprint report that their networks are overwhelmed by the sudden spike in volume (common after a sudden disaster) but they have not been asked to suspend service and are in fact looking to increase capacity.

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PK and Others Urge FCC to Prevent State, Local Cell Shutdowns

May 30, 2012 BART , FCC , Jamming , Mobile Communication , Wireless

Today, we filed comments with a number of other public interest groups urging the FCC to issue rules that would prevent state and local governments from shutting off cell service in situations like the BART protests of last summer.

The comments that we filed today were replies to several issues raised in the first round. In particular, we were responding to arguments raised about who gets to initiate shutdowns, the constitutionality of some proposed and existing shutdown procedures, and the fact that government agencies cutting of access to the public airwaves still runs afoul of the First Amendment, even if they’re cutting off access in areas that aren’t traditional public forums.

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Shutdowns Of Wireless Service Threaten Public Safety, Groups Tell FCC

May 1, 2012 BART , Press Release

No government or private company should be able to shut down wireless service in an emergency, several public interest groups told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in comments filed late April 30.

The Commission had asked for comments on the issue in the wake of a shutdown of service in San Francisco by the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) District.

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BART Update: The FCC is Seeking Comments Now

March 5, 2012 BART , Mobile Communication

Last Thursday, the FCC announced that it is seeking comment on issues raised by the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) shutdown of cellphone service back in August. 

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Public Knowledge Applauds FCC Notice On Public Safety Wireless Cutoff

March 2, 2012 BART , Press Release , Public Safety

The following is attributed to Harold Feld, legal director for Public Knowledge:

“The Federal Communications Commission yesterday asked for public comment to determine the proper policy when government authorities intentionally disrupt wireless service.  The notice came about as a result of the actions on August 11, 2011 when the San Francisco-area Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART) cut off wireless service, claiming a threat to public safety.

“We are pleased that the Commission is looking into this very important issue.  On August 29, 2011, Public Knowledge, along with Broadband Institute of California, Center for Democracy and Technology, Center for Media Justice, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Media Access Project, Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, and National Hispanic Media Coalition, asked the Commission to rule whether the action by BART authorities was legal under the Communications Act.

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Public Knowledge Pleased with FCC Statement on BART Policy Adoption

December 2, 2011 BART , FCC , Mobile Communication , Press Release

Background: On August 11, 2011, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), anticipating protests and demonstrations in its stations, shut down access to cellular communications, disrupted mobile phone and data service to a massive number of consumers for up to four hours. Later that month, Public Knowledge along with eight other public interest organizations filed a Petition asking the FCC to declare that the BART’s actions violated the Communications Act. Yesterday, BART adopted a new policy on cell service interruption. 

The link to our August petition is here: https://www.publicknowledge.org/emergency-petition-declaratory-ruling-re-bart

The following statement is attributed to Harold Feld, Legal Director of Public Knowledge:

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PK In the Know Podcast

August 26, 2011 BART , DMCA , Fair Use , Piracy , TXTSMS

On today’s podcast, we discuss Fox’s efforts to increase piracy, BART shutting down cell phone service, the Understanding 9/11 project, and the MP3Tunes decision.  Then we talk about how three artists – Rana Santacruz, April Smith, and Mates of State – are finding new ways to reach out to fans.

You can download the audio directly by clicking here (MP3) or stream it using the player below:

Want to subscribe to our podcast? Click here for the MP3 feed.

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Why Shutting Down Cell Service Is Not Just Against The Law, It’s a Really Bad Idea

August 23, 2011 BART , Enforcement , FCC , Mobile Communication

I suppose I am really a telecom lawyer at heart. My reaction to the news that the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police shut down cellphone networks in a number of stations on August 11 had nothing to do with democracy, the First Amendment, Tahrir Square, etc. With all deference to the importance of these concerns, my reaction was WHAT DO YOU MEAN THESE IDIOTS MESSED WITH THE PHONE SYSTEM? From my perspective, and the perspective of traditional telecom law, BART could just as well have turned off the local central office and all this chatter about whether or not BART is a public forum is just a distraction.

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