Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Jamming employee cell phones can cost

The FCC issued several notices of apparent liability, in amounts exceeding $120,000 for illegal cell jammer use.

In the referenced Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL), anonymous complaints resulted in immediate investigation of companies employing cell jammers to block cellular communications. Upon investigation by FCC field agents, the companies were found to be using broadband cell signal jammers, illegally shipped from overseas. In one case it was noted the jammers had been installed following a "near miss" potential for an industrial accident, attributed to employee phone use on the job. The managers at the work sites confirmed that the jammers were installed to prevent employees from using cell phones while working.

The problem is noted that these jammers don't discriminate, blocking all cell traffic in and around the area including necessary emergency communications such as 9-1-1 calls.

In each of the cases, the jammers were surrendered to the FCC agents, along with any spare backup jammers. The FCC agents confirmed that the cell band interference had ceased after the jammers were removed.

In each case, the maximum forfeiture amount allowable by statute was proposed, however, the total amount was revised downward by 25%, due to the immediate voluntary surrender of the illegal jammers. It was acknowledged that the Commission has authority to confiscate illegal devices, however, the Commission recognizes the benefits of the voluntary cooperation, and would like to encourage similar conduct in the future.


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