Items tagged "Mobile Communication"

Press Release

Public Interest Groups Ask FCC to Declare BART Actions Unlawful

August 29, 2011 Interference , Jamming , Mobile Communication , Press Release , Wireless

Contact: Harold Feld
             202-861-0020
             hfeld@publicknowledge.org

             Sherwin Siy
             202-861-0020
             ssiy@publicknowledge.org

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.

Today, Public Knowledge, along with a coalition of other public interest organizations, listed below, urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to immediately find that BART violated federal law and to clarify that local government agencies may not interfere with access to mobile phone networks.

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Press Release

Jamming Prison Cell Phones Threatens Public Safety, Groups Tell Senate

July 14, 2009 Jamming , Mobile Communication , Press Release , Public Safety

A day in advance of a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on legislation (S. 251) to allow interference with cellular phones in prisons, nine public interest groups and consumer organizations told the Committee in a July 14 letter that the legislation would cause more serious problems than it would solve.

"Public Knowledge et al., Letter in Opposition to S.251, The Safe Prison Communications Act (SPCA)"

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Post

A Few Thoughts on the Sprint/T-Mobile Merger Rumors

December 13, 2013 Competition , Mobile Communication , Mobile Innovation , Wireless

Rumors or announcements of mergers often drop on Friday afternoons, especially around holidays. This time it’s the Wall Street Journal reporting that Sprint is considering a bid for T-Mobile.

I have some thoughts on this! Basically, the national wireless market is already too concentrated. We need more, not less competition.

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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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AT&T and Verizon Double-Dare FCC To Stop Spectrum Consolidation

January 25, 2013 AT&T , Competition , Mobile Communication , Spectrum , Verizon

Rarely do you see companies double-dare the FCC to back up their brave talk about promoting competition. That is, however, what AT&T has just decided to do – with a little help from Verizon. After gobbling a ton of spectrum last year in a series of small transactions, AT&T announced earlier this week it would buy up ATNI, which holds the last shreds of the old Alltel Spectrum. To top this off, Verizon just announced it has selected the purchaser for the 700 MHz spectrum it promised to sell off to get permission to buy the SpectrumCo spectrum. And guess what?

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In Less Than 1 Year Verizon Data Goes from $30/Unlimited to $50/1GB

June 12, 2012 Competition , Mobile Communication , Mobile Innovation , Verizon , Wireless

Today, Verizon Wireless announced its new pricing plans for mobile phones and data.  If you mostly use your phone for data, this is bad news.

Verizon's New Pricing PlanVerizon’s New Pricing Plan

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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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PK Urges FCC to Prevent Emergency Wireless Service Interruptions

May 2, 2012 Interference , Jamming , Mobile Communication , Public Safety , Radio Interference

This week, Public Knowledge, along with the Center for Democracy and Technology, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and several other public interest groups, urged the FCC to ensure that neither government agencies nor wireless providers shut down communications in an emergency.

The comments, also signed by the Benton Foundation, Free Press, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Minority Media Telecommunications Council, and the Open Technology Institute of the New America Foundation, respond to the FCC’s Notice of Inquiry, which asked about what procedures should be followed when government wanted to shut down communications during a crisis.

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Government-Ordered Wireless Shutdowns: Possibly Unconstitutional, Likely Illegal, Never a Great Idea

March 14, 2012 FCC , Jamming , Mobile Communication , Public Safety , Regulation

As Kara noted last week, the FCC is asking you to comment on when it’s appropriate for government agencies to cut off cellular services in the interests of public safety. For a variety of reasons, my initial answer to that is “rarely, if ever.” Aside from definite knowledge of a cell phone-triggered bomb, or a freak occurrence where the 800-900MHz range somehow interfered with a pacemaker, it just doesn’t seem like a particularly good idea. There’s a host of reasons why, and a lot of them were argued in the wake of BART’s October shutdown of cell service in anticipation of a protest. But this isn’t about BART; it’s about preventing future unnecessary shutdowns.

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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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