Cell Phones Boon, Bane During Aftermath of London Blasts

The Internet Patrol - Patrolling the Internet for You

In a twist of irony, perhaps dichotomy (or perhaps both), the widespread usage of cell phones has turned out to be both a boon and a bane in the hours immediately following the terrorist attacks and explosions in London earlier today.

As might be expected in this wireless age, cell phone calls, both inbound and outgoing as loved ones sought both reassurance and to reassure, skyrocketed across the United Kingdom and beyond immediately following the explosions. Wireless network operators begged the public’s understanding when encountering network overload issues, and some network operators had to put emergency processes into place to ensure enough bandwidth for emergency calls.


Vodafone issued a statement saying that “Following the major incident in London today, Vodafone London switches are at capacity (which is very rare) so we’re having to go into ‘access overload’ procedures, which means freeing up a proportion of capacity across London to ensure the police and emergency services can communicate.”

“We can confirm that, due to the number of high calls currently being made on the Orange network, some of its customers in London may experience difficulties making calls on their first attempt and may have to try several times before they get connected,” added a spokesperson for the Orange network.

However, at the same time, many were using their cell phones not to place calls, but to take pictures of the devestation, providing a real-time pictography of such a disaster unlike any other. These pictures, either emailed on the spot or later downloaded, made their way to websites and blogs in mere hours, providing a timely view into the disaster on what amounted to a people’s media underground.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did you find here today?:

 

Pictures of a double-decker bus being blown up, of victims trapped in a subway train underground, and of the scenes of chaos in the aftermath were but some of the photos which made their way to the Internet in record time, thanks to camera phones.

Said Kenny Irby, of the journalist school the Poynter Institute, “The proliferation of cell phones and digital cameras … have led to a great deal more documentation added to the news stream.”

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
Click for amount options
Other Amount:
What info did you find here today?:

3 thoughts on “Cell Phones Boon, Bane During Aftermath of London Blasts

  1. I think the reason for blocking cellphones is mentioned in this article: by Al Sunshine given on CBS4 sometime back. Cellphones can be used to trigger bomb blasts remotely (read ‘nationally’ for a roaming-enabled cellphone facility).

  2. So if they had no subscribers using their networks they’d complain, then when they do get used like crazy they complain that they’re running at capacity. Cheese with you whine gents? Phones that can take pictures, record video, play mp3’s…with networks that can’t handle phone calls under high demand. Perhaps they’ll re-focus on what parts of their network and service offerings REALLY need attention.

  3. I wonder how well the Blackberry users faired during this whole thing? Text systems probably piggy back off of the same band width.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.