AT&T Statement on Cell Phone Jamming Legislation

August 5, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation today passed legislation that would allow correctional facilities to seek FCC authorization to use jamming technologies to combat contraband cell phone use. The following statement may be attributed to AT&T’s Executive Vice President of Federal Relations Tim McKone:

“The issue of contraband cell phones in prisons is a serious problem and we fully support the effort being led by Senator Hutchison to find a solution that prevents unlawful use and possession by the incarcerated while also maintaining public safety access to critical wireless communications in the areas surrounding correctional facilities. The current legislation advances both public interest objectives. It authorizes the FCC to allow the use of jamming equipment under appropriate circumstances but requires supervisory authorities of correctional facilities to consult with public safety agencies and service providers prior to seeking such authority from the FCC. The legislation further requires the FCC to thoroughly consider the interference potential of a proposed jamming system and to weigh alternatives. We applaud Senator Hutchison for her efforts and we look forward to the full Senate acting on this significant legislation.”

Margaret Boles