Mobile phone jammers under review

Wednesday, 24 February, 2010


The Australian Communications and Media Authority is well advanced in its review of the regulation of mobile phone jammers in Australia. As part of that review, the ACMA is also seeking views on a proposal to trial mobile phone jammers at the Lithgow Correctional Centre in NSW.

The authority has released a public discussion paper reviewing the scope and application of the mobile phone jammer prohibition and the regulation of mobile phone jammers in general. The paper also provides background on the trial of mobile phone jammers at the Lithgow Correctional Centre that has been proposed by the NSW government.

"There are important issues involved in weighing up the benefits and disadvantages of allowing jamming of mobile telephone networks," said Chris Chapman, chairman of the ACMA. "There are obvious circumstances where there would be clear public benefit in inhibiting the use of mobile phones to prevent criminal and potentially life-threatening activities.

"At the same time, the use of jammers may have implications for the integrity of mobile networks, including the use of triple zero and associated safety-of-life issues."

The review is a ‘first principles’ examination of the need for regulation of mobile phone jammers to safeguard access to legal radiocommunications and telecommunications, in light of a range of emerging uses of mobile phone jammers in the public interest by responsible bodies.

Copies of the discussion paper are available on the ACMA website.

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