A man in France accidentally shuts down the town’s entire internet. According to France Bleu, residents of Messages and neighboring towns in southwest France lost access to the internet and phone signal from midnight to 3 am across multiple dates when an unnamed man used a multi-wave band jammer.
The unnamed man faces a fine of €30,000 and up to six months of jail if found guilty of causing the mass outage. A mobile operator was alerted when one of its antennas stopped working in Messages. When a technician from the Agence Nationale des Fréquences (ANFR) went to diagnose at the site with equipment detected where the disruption was coming from.
The technician was able to discover the hostile waves coming from a house using a portable reader. The man inside the house admitted to using a jamming device to prevent his children from using the internet late at night.
On further investigation, it was clear the man was only blocking the WiFi and phone signal of his house. Though according to ANFR these devices often have a “wider range” of an impact than vendors typically advertise.
The jamming device emits a powerful signal on the same frequency as a phone or Wifi operator, thus preventing devices from receiving the intended signal.
According to ANFR, the man used the jamming device in a bid to stop his children who he thought had become addicted to social networks and other applications, since the lockdowns imposed during the pandemic.
ANFR said, “After consulting forums on the internet, the father had decided that a jammer was the best solution to put an end to these excesses. A radical solution, but above all illegal and disproportionate. The equipment did not just jam his house but also his neighbors, the inhabitants of his town, and the inhabitants of the neighboring town.”
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