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Free Expression

Did Boston police jam cell reception after bombings?

Hours following the blasts at the Boston Marathon finish line Monday (April 15), cellular networks buckled under the pressure of tens of thousands of people using their phones to call loved ones. Soon to follow were news reports that cellphone service was shut down intentionally to prevent possible remote detonations of further bombs using cellphones.

These reports were quickly debunked by wireless carriers AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, which countered that cellphone networks were strained from congestion but were never shut down. Boston law enforcement officials did not return our multiple calls asking whether cellular networks were intentionally disrupted on Monday.