The Bulletin

In China, transit disruption prompts calls to ban Wi-Fi

Posting in Cities

Should Wi-Fi be banned in subways?

Some people in China think so. Services for the metro system in Shenzhen, in China's Guangdong province, were disrupted on Thursday, China Daily reports.

The reason may have been wireless Internet usage on portable devices.

Several trains on the city's Shekou line were halted for a little more than an hour during morning rush hour, stranding some passengers and forcing others to transfer to other lines.

Officially, the reason is "unknown signals," according to the operator, Shenzhen Metro Group. Officials haven't determined where those signals originated.

Much like for airplanes, Wi-Fi usage on trains has been a topic of great interest. Some say Wi-Fi can interfere with critical transit signals, stalling or slowing trains. The "Communication-Based Train Control System" standard -- among those considered at risk -- is used on Shenzhen's Shekou and Huanzhong lines.

— By on November 5, 2012, 9:56 PM PST

Andrew Nusca

Editor Emeritus

Andrew Nusca is editor of SmartPlanet and an associate editor for ZDNet. Previously, he worked at Money, Men's Vogue and Popular Mechanics magazines. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and New York University. He is based in New York but resides in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure