San Francisco's BART directors agree to limit shutdowns of wireless system

Responding to intense criticism over the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system's decision to shut down wireless service on Aug. 11 to try to stop a demonstration, the board of directors at the BART said they will only use that tactic in extreme situations where public safety is endangered.

At a special meeting, BART's board said they favor a policy where shutting off the antennas that provide cell service in BART's subways will only be used when the public is at risk. The board will further define those types of situations and will ask for advice from San Francisco's Citizen Review Board before bringing the proposal to a public meeting in two to four weeks.

BART admitted to cutting the service in response to protests that were being organized via mobile devices. BART said that it interrupted wireless service at stations to thwart protesters who planned to disrupt service. The protesters were organizing to draw attention to a fatal shooting at a BART station in July allegedly involving police.

The FCC has also said it will look into BART's decision to shut down cell phone service.

For more:
- see this San Francisco Chronicle article

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