Monday, December 18, 2006

Why cell phone outage reports are secret in the US 

From the Red Tape Chronicles: Why cell phone outage reports are secret.

Consumers have no idea how reliable their cell phone service will be when they buy a phone and sign a long-term contract. The Federal Communications Commission could offer some guidance, but it won't. The agency refuses to make public a detailed database of cell phone provider outages that it has maintained since 2004.

A federal Freedom of Information Act request for the data, filed in August by, has been rejected by the agency. The stated reasons: Release of the information could help terrorists plan attacks against the United States, and it would harm the companies involved.


In the beginning, the reports all were from "wire line" telephone providers and were available to the public. But in 2004, the commission ordered wireless firms to supply outage reports as well. But at the same time, it removed all outage reports from public view and exempted them from the Freedom of Information Act.

It is really interesting what you can do now in the US in the name of Homeland Security.

This leads BTW to another interesting question regarding reliability of emegency services and VoIP:

How reliable are emergency services on "wire line" and especially "wire less"?

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