Items tagged "Public Safety"

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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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Why Did The White House Support Reallocating D Block? It’s Smart Politics.

February 2, 2011 FCC , National Broadband Plan , Public Safety , Spectrum , Wireless

The announcement by the White House that it would support reallocating the D Block – the 10 MHz of spectrum left over from big broadcast band auction of 2008 (the 700 MHz Auction) – to public safety use rather than auction it for commercial use defies conventional wisdom on two fronts.

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Blogging Service is Cut Off From the Internet: Weaknesses in Content Access are Illuminated

July 28, 2010 Enforcement , Public Safety

The blogging service Blogetery was recently cut off from the Internet by its web hosting service.  As a result, blog creators and readers lost access to an estimated 73,000 blogs.  Why Blogetery was cut off from the Internet is not clear.  The New York Times' Bits Blog originally reported that the cut off resulted from an FBI request, made after the FBI discovered links to Al Qaeda bomb-making instructions on one of the blogs on the Blogetery service.  The web host

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