Man accidentally shuts down town’s entire internet in France

Father faces up to six months in prison for the mass outage in Messanges

<p>The town of Messanges in south-west France suffered a three hour internet outage after a resident attempted to limit his child’s screen time</p>

The town of Messanges in south-west France suffered a three hour internet outage after a resident attempted to limit his child’s screen time

Two French towns were knocked offline for several nights after a parent’s misguided attempt to curb their children’s internet use, according to local reports.

Residents of Messanges and a neighbouring town in south-west France lost access to the internet and phone signal from midnight to 3am across multiple dates when an unnamed man used a multi-wave band jammer, France Bleu reported.

The unnamed man faces a €30,000 fine and up to six months in prison if found guilty of causing the mass outage.

A mobile phone operator was first alerted to the issue when one of its antennas stopped working in Messanges.

A technician from the Agence Nationale des Fréquences (ANFR) went to the site with equipment to detect where the disruption was coming from.

Using a portable reader, the technician discovered hostile waves coming from a house, where a man reportedly admitted to using a jamming device to prevent his children from using the internet late at night.

The alleged culprit believed he was only blocking the WiFi and phone signal of his house, though the ANFR warned that these devices often have a “wider range” of impact than vendors typically advertise.

They work by emitting a powerful signal on the same frequency as a phone or WiFi operator, preventing devices from receiving the intended signal.

An incident report posted to the ANFR’s website noted that the suspect’s children had “become addicted to social networks and other applications” since the lockdowns imposed during the pandemic.

“After consulting forums on the internet, the father had decided that a jammer was the best solution to put an end to these excesses,” the report stated.

“A radical solution, but above all illegal and disproportionate. The equipment did not just jam his house but also his neighbours, the inhabitants of his town, and the inhabitants of the neighbouring town.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in