Items tagged "Public Safety"

Press Release

Public Knowledge Petitions FCC to Increase 911 Location Accuracy

September 30, 2014 E911 , FCC , Public Safety , Wireless

Today, Public Knowledge launched a petition to support the FCC’s proposal to strengthen its location accuracy requirements for wireless calls to 911.

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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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Tech Transitions: How Will You Know When You’re Transitioning?

August 28, 2015 FCC , Five Fundamentals , Public Safety , Tech Transitions , Tech Transitions Series

Over the past four weeks, we have featured a series of blog posts about the tech transitions. In our final post of the series below, Meredith Whipple explains what communities need to know about their new networks, why this is important, and what the FCC did about it this month.

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Tech Transitions: Will the New Network Be Good Enough?

August 21, 2015 FCC , Five Fundamentals , Public Safety , Tech Transitions , Tech Transitions Series

Over the coming weeks, we will feature a series of blog posts about the tech transitions. In our fourth post below, Meredith Whipple explains what needs to be done to make sure that during the tech transitions, the new services are adequate substitutes for the old services they are replacing.

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What Happens When Your Phone Network Fails?

July 2, 2015 Network Reliability , Public Safety , Tech Transitions

Fun fact: unlike traditional copper lines, most new “land line” phone technologies don’t run on their own power. When the power goes out, so does the phone line—and your ability to call for help.

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FCC Should Ensure That Help Will Arrive For 911 Calls

September 29, 2014 E911 , FCC , Public Safety , Wireless

Public Knowledge recently wrote about a growing concern that 911 emergency services were having an alarming amount of difficulty locating callers who placed calls from indoors using mobile devices. This means that for many callers experiencing an emergency situation, help may not arrive on time.

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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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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 Urges FCC to Prevent Future BART-like Shutdowns

August 29, 2011 Jamming , Mobile Communication , Non-Discrimination , Public Safety , Radio Interference

Today, Public Knowledge, joined by a wide variety of consumer, civil rights, and civil liberties groups, urged the FCC to immediately pass rules that would prevent local authorities from ordering a shutdown of wireless services the way that BART did earlier this month. As Harold’s earlier blog post points out, we don’t even need to get to the (extremely pressing and important) First Amendment issues to find that BART’s actions violated the law—the Communications Act, to be precise.

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