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FCC Chairman doesn't like the idea of allowing calls in-flight

Posted: , by Alan F.

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FCC Chairman doesn't like the idea of allowing calls in-flight
The report that the FCC might consider dropping the restrictions on in-flight cellphone calls has left a split public with many celebrating the possibility of being able to call family, friends, and the office while in flight. The rest of the public sees this as terrible, noisy chatter that will turn a relaxing flight into an hours long headache (although to be fair, the airlines have been known to do that all by themselves).

On Thursday, when the FCC revealed that it was considering a proposal to lift the ban on cellular calls and the use of mobile data once a plane levels off at 10,000 feet, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was bubbling over the possibilities of removing what he called "outdated and restrictive rules". But by Friday, Wheeler had changed his mind. "We understand that many passengers would prefer that voice calls not be made on airplanes. I feel that way myself," said the agency's head honcho.

This was a typical CYA maneuver by a Washington insider who apparently miscalculated the public's response. Keep in mind that the FCC proposal does not force the airlines to offer connectivity to those flying. If the proposal makes it through, it will be up to each airline to determine its own policy on allowing passengers to use their cellphones for calls and to access mobile data at 10,000 feet.

"We understand that many passengers would prefer that voice calls not be made on airplanes. I feel that way myself. Ultimately, if the FCC adopts the proposal in the coming months, it will be airlines’decisions, in consultation with their customers, as to whether to permit voice calls while airborne...we believe that airlines are best positioned to make such decisions. For this reason, our proposal does not impose any requirement that airlines should provide voice connectivity. We encourage airlines, pilots, flight attendants, and the public to engage in our upcoming rulemaking process."-Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman

source: FCC via Engadget

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posted on 24 Nov 2013, 01:14 6

1. Hassan420i (Posts: 23; Member since: 23 Jun 2013)


i agree,, it'll cause disturbance to the others...

posted on 24 Nov 2013, 06:18

2. ArtSim98 (Posts: 2274; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


I like how in Japan it's not allowed to use a phone even on a train or bus.

posted on 24 Nov 2013, 06:38

3. rawbow (Posts: 407; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


really!? good info man

posted on 24 Nov 2013, 08:48

4. mturby (Posts: 215; Member since: 09 Jan 2013)


go to japan.

posted on 24 Nov 2013, 11:45

5. Augustine (Posts: 629; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


In Japan etiquette forbids the use of phones in public transportation. Americans should learn how to negotiate with others peacefully without the coercive power of law for a change. Perhaps Americans would even learn how to negotiate with other nations peacefully without inflicting mayhem and death for a change as well.

posted on 24 Nov 2013, 22:54

6. a_merryman (Posts: 605; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)


We already know how. There is no law saying you can't talk on the phone in the bathroom, and yet most people dont do that. Most people don't talk on their phone on the metro when I ride it either. Maybe you shouldn't jump to conclusions when you don't have enough information on the subject? More importantly, they're talking about lifting a ban that was put in place out of fear the electronics could interfere with the onboard systems, most of the world has the same bans. So far as I know the USA was the first one to get rid of the ban on using electronics during take off and landing, followed shortly after by the EU. I think the EU a few days after they allowed electronics to be used on take off and landing also decided to allow calls in-flight.

Notice how the majority of the public decided they didn't want calls taking place during a flight. That would suggest the majority of people dont plan to call during a flight. Even the ones for this, most of them are probably like me and just want a stupid policy to end. I have no desire to call anyone on a flight, though I probably would text (I'm sure most people would do this as well.) Also, it would be up to the airlines to decide whether they want to allow calls or not. Maybe they would even set aside certain cabins where passengers are allowed to make calls and others where they arent?

As for your last sentence, totally unnecessary.

posted on 24 Nov 2013, 23:35

7. Augustine (Posts: 629; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


Actually, electronic devices have been allowed from gate to gate in Europe for a decade and in-flight calls, for about half a decade. The FCC is lagging its European and Japanese counterparts, as usual.

posted on 25 Nov 2013, 00:10

8. a_merryman (Posts: 605; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)


http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/13/5101952/europeans-can-use-personal-electronics-in-flight

Yeah, OK ;) I must've been mistaken reading that article. Not to mention it was the FAA who lifted the ban, considering they're the ones who monitor the air industry. Maybe you're confused because the FCC urged the FAA to allow the use of electronics (http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/06/fcc-calls-on-faa-to-allow-electronics-on-planes/?_r=0 )

And I can't find any info on the Japanese version of the FAA allowing it, or disallowing it. So if you can find me an article or such on that, it would be appreciated. But your comment about the European Aviation Safety Agency makes it seem like you are either lying or misinformed.

posted on 25 Nov 2013, 01:04

9. Augustine (Posts: 629; Member since: 28 Sep 2013)


The FAA monitors the air industry in the US alone.

A few years-old examples:
Emirates: bit.ly/1aRZpWb
Ryanair: bit.ly/1aRZrNM
UK: bbc.in/1aRZyZS

As for your last sentence, totally unnecessary.

posted on 25 Nov 2013, 15:41

10. a_merryman (Posts: 605; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)


When did I ever say anything about the FAA monitoring anything other than the US's air industry. The comment I made was clearly about the ban in the US, and I said the FAA is the one who handled it since they are in charge of the air industry....I figured you understood I meant in the US.

The links you provided still dont say electronics are allowed on from gate to gate. (RyanAir: bit.ly/9GVMC ) Not to mention I asked you for evidence that the Japanese allowed electronics to be on and used the whole time. Thats what this is about....the use of electronics from gate to gate, in which (to my knowledge...and what I have been able to find so far) the US's FAA was the first to allow it. Stop moving the goalposts.

The sentence wasn't unnecessary, it seems like you are genuinely misinformed. You thought it was the FCC banning the use of electronics on planes, think the Japanese allow it while providing no evidence...and didnt provide a counter-source to prove mine wrong about the EASA only recently allowing the use of electronics from gate to gate. However I didn't know they allowed cell phones to be used for calling on those airlines already. I could have sworn I read an article recently saying the EASA decided to allow it.

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