Train Company Blocks Mobile Signals

(28 Oct 2008, BWCS Staff)

UK commuter train operator C2C has announced plans to block mobile signals from some of its carriages. The company, which runs trains into London Liverpool Street and Fenchurch Street stations from Essex, said it will use a high-tech film overlaid on the carriage windows to effectively block mobile reception in some parts of its trains.

According to the company it will put the film on to protect passengers in designated quiet coaches from the encroachment of mobile phone ringtones and the loud conversations of fellow passengers. Apparently recent market research carried out by C2C suggested that rules on non-use of mobile devices in these areas were simply not being enforced.

Many other train companies have similar policies, although C2C s the only operator to have announced plans to block mobile signals so far. C2C said that the coating, which uses a combination of metals, plastics and chemicals, will block WiFi, radio and phone signals. However, the thin film, which was developed by scientists in the US, will allow light through.

A C2C spokesman quoted in the London Evening Standard newspaper said "We know that most of our passengers like the idea of the quiet zone. However we are aware that there is a concern about enforcement of this policy on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, after consultation, we have agreed to this course of action."

Some mobile phone "jammer" devices are legal to own but illegal to operate in the UK. Using this new film coating however, does not break the law as passengers who sit in the designated quiet carriages have effectively agreed to their terms and conditions, and to having their telephone signals blocked. C2C points out that there are also signs to remind them of where they are sitting as well as regular announcements.


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