The FCC may take on a request to jam mobile phones in state prisons. Federal prisons already use the wireless jamming technology to prevent the use of cell phones.
State prison officials in South Carlina are asking the FCC to allow wireless jamming on mobile phones. The technology would allow local authorities to block cell phone signals near prisons. One wireless carrier, CellAntenna Corp, has already petitioned the FCC to allow the technology.
As part of a pilot program, state officials want to jam wireless signals used for mobile phones in prisons. Officials also want the state’s US senators to introduce legislation to allow the technology to be used by local enforcement agencies.
“FCC Chairman Kevin Martin understands the concerns of state and local law enforcement officials and is willing to work with them on this complex issue,” FCC spokesman Robert Kenny said in a statement.
Mobile phones could be used by terrorists in state prisons, according to Department of Corrections Director John Ozmint. Wireless equipment to jam cell phone signals is currently illegal in the state.
Prison systems in Arkansas and North Carolina are also showing interest in the new program. Most federal prisons block signals to mobile phones including visitation areas.