by Carlo Longino

Plans For NYC Subway Cell Network Move Ahead

from the can-you-hear-me-now dept

Despite ongoing security concerns, the Metropolitan Transit Authority is forging ahead with plans to blanket the New York City subway system with cellular coverage. The MTA is now soliciting bid for a 10-year exclusive contract which requires the winner to allow other carriers access to the network -- which will generate roaming fees for the winner, but could also become a significant competitive advantage for some carriers, given the multiple, non-interoperable standards in use in the US. The MTA doesn't appear overly concerned that the networks will be a threat to security, though they do say the network must be able to be shut down in emergencies. While there is a possibility a network like this could be used by a terrorist, not having cellular coverage in the subway won't stop a determined attacker. To not build or shut down underground networks because of security concerns is to ignore the safety and security benefits they can offer as well.

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  • identicon
    Jimmy Thomas, 25 Aug 2005 @ 2:26pm


    They said the terrorists didn't win. They said we wouldn't change our lifestyle. I guess they've won afterall.

    "They're whole mission is to disrupt our way of life! But it won't happen!"


    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ivan Sick, 25 Aug 2005 @ 8:04pm

    No Subject Given

    Forgive me if I'm missing something here...how can cutting the signal in an emergency possibly increase security? Is the terrorist who just bombed the train going to call his fellow terrorists and tell them "mission accomplished" or "come pick me up"? Or if they cut the power, "now's the time"?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2005 @ 7:58am

      Re: No Subject Given

      So... if you read the article, you would have come across the following:

      "The authority's request for proposals requires that any winner block all calls to and from the network "under certain security conditions,""

      What that means is that they would like to be able to disable the network when they have information of a credible threat, or, perhaps, at a certain alert level or what have you. It did not say that they want to be able to turn it off in an emergency.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Aaron de Oliveira (profile), 26 Aug 2005 @ 8:37am

        Re: No Subject Given

        All in all, I think having a cell network in subways would be more safe, not less. Having all those eyeballs be able to report accidents, crimes and suspicions would make things a lot safer and a lot harder for any would be terrorist trying to sneak something on the subway.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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