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Why can't I use my jetpack in a hospital?

brucecomo
Member

Hi,

While visiting my father in Ellis hospital I tried to use my mifi to provide internet service to my ipad- three times over three days.  The ipad didn't see the mifi.

At first, I thought there was a problem with my mifi, but the mifi/ipad combo worked fine once I got away from the hospital.

How are they blocking my ipad from seeing my mifi?

Thanks for your time.

Bruce

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Correct Answers

Re: Ellis blocked my mifi. How did they do it?

John_Getzke
Leader

Jammers are illegal:

http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/jammer-enforcement

When you are in a hospital there is likely too much interference from other medical equipment or similar WiFi devices.  The interference will drown out the signals that you are looking for as well as cause all sorts of performance issues even if you could connect.  This is similar to trying to operate a cell phone or WiFi device in a stadium. There is only so much spectrum allocated to WiFi in the 2.4 Ghz spectrum and way too many people using it for it to be any good to any of them.  That is unless the space has been specifically designed to handle that kind of load.

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Re: Ellis blocked my mifi. How did they do it?

dimap52
Sr. Member

Hospitals are known to block wi-fi signals due to interference with medical equipment.

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Re: Ellis blocked my mifi. How did they do it?

brucecomo
Member

Thanks.  Any idea how they do it?

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Re: Ellis blocked my mifi. How did they do it?

Tidbits
Sr. Leader

Jammers. There are certain places throughout a hospital where you can use a cellphone and other similar devices away from sensitive equipment.

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Re: Ellis blocked my mifi. How did they do it?

brucecomo
Member

Thanks

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Re: Ellis blocked my mifi. How did they do it?

DOJ2903
Member

It's not a jammer, it's that they can put in their own local cellular network and thus control the usage to an extent based on network preference.  We have that in our federal buildings, we don't block anything but your data usage goes through our network and thus our DLP solution.

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Re: Ellis blocked my mifi. How did they do it?

John_Getzke
Leader

Jammers are illegal:

http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/jammer-enforcement

When you are in a hospital there is likely too much interference from other medical equipment or similar WiFi devices.  The interference will drown out the signals that you are looking for as well as cause all sorts of performance issues even if you could connect.  This is similar to trying to operate a cell phone or WiFi device in a stadium. There is only so much spectrum allocated to WiFi in the 2.4 Ghz spectrum and way too many people using it for it to be any good to any of them.  That is unless the space has been specifically designed to handle that kind of load.

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Re: Ellis blocked my mifi. How did they do it?

Tidbits
Sr. Leader

They are NOT illegal... They are exceptions and Hospitals ARE one of those exceptions. Another would be US Military.

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Re: Ellis blocked my mifi. How did they do it?

John_Getzke
Leader

It is presumptuous to assume that all hospitals are exceptions.  Jammers are covered under The Communications Act which defines this scenario in more detail:

 

Section 301 of the Communications Act

"No person shall use or operate any apparatus for the transmission of energy or communications or signals by radio…except under and in accordance with [the Communications] Act and with a license in that behalf granted under the provisions of this Act." 47 U.S.C. § 301.

Section 333 of the Communications Act

"No person shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference to any radio communications of any station licensed or authorized by or under [the Communications] Act or operated by the United States Government." 47 U.S.C. § 333.

"Jammers cannot be marketed or operated in the United States except in the very limited context of authorized, official use by the federal government."

More Info:

http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/jammerenforcement/jamfaq.pdf

If the hospital has gone through the trouble to get a license and use a Jammer from the government then Yes, it is legal for them to do so.  However, that right is not granted by default just because they are a hospital, at least not as the law is written.  Normally only the Government is permitted to use a real Jammer.  I'd suspect that any hospital permitted to use a real Jammer has something to do with protecting government officials or international political figures while under their care. 

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Re: Ellis blocked my mifi. How did they do it?

Tidbits
Sr. Leader

An exception is an exception. It isn't all that troublesome for hospitals.

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