The Federal Communications Commission
Tells TDCJ to Conduct Test of Cellphone

Washington, DC

Staff Reporter

The Federal Communication Commission today announced that it is okay for
the Texas Department of Criminal Justice to test a cellphone jammer at the
Travis County State Jail on Thursday.  The planned test was cancelled after
Texas Attorney General advised TDCJ would be violating federal law if they
conducted the test.

Robert Kenny a spokesperson for the FCC stated “We would encourage
Texas authorities to move forward with their test.  We recognize the
concerns of public safety regarding this complex issue and FCC Chairman
Kevin Martin remains committed to trying to work with public safety officials to
address their needs.”

The South Carolina Department of Corrections successfully tested a
cellphone jammer in their state in November which successfully blocked
signals on the inside of the prison, without interfering with outside cellphone

CellAntenna Corporation is the company marketing the $1 million jamming
system.  “Chairman Martin has publicly offered support to law enforcement
and prisons seeking to utilize cell phone jamming equipment and is willing to
work with them,” FCC spokesman Robert Kenny said after South Carolina's
test in November.

The cost of the system will become a major issue this legislative session as
funding for the prison system becomes a major issue.  Texas prison officers
are now number 48th on the US correctional pay scale.  Retaining
correctional officers seems to be the biggest problem the State of Texas is
facing.  Low wages and the inability to attract people willing to make this a
career are one reason being cited for corruption in the prison system.