Emergency Phone Network Activated On London Underground

The British Police and Emergency services now have a system of digital radios that can be used deep underground throughout the 125 stations forming the 250-mile long London Underground transport grid.

Launched by the Policing Minister Vernon Coaker, the digital communication solution comes three and a half years after the 7/7 London bombings during which the authorities were severely criticised for using communications systems that were grossly inadequate in crisis situation.

Mr Coaker said that the newly introduced technology will allow a more effective response from the emergency services and the police.

More than £100 million have been invested to link the Airwave network, used by police forces across the nation, to the London Underground's own digital comms system.

Airwave is built using Tetra technology, an open digital trunked radio standard separate from the "consumer" mobile phone networks which get clogged quickly during major incidents.

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Our Comments

A working communications system back in July 2005 could have saved lives. It is not too late though to implement a solution that will be able to withstand the volume of calls that another major incident can generate.

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