FCC head does not back proposal to allow cellphone use on planes

cell on plane

Just because it can be done, doesn’t mean it should be done. At least that is what the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) chairman is saying now. Last week, Tom Wheeler announced a proposal that would lift the FCC ban on using cellphones during fights. Now, he is saying while the proposal is still valid, he doesn’t really agree with it.

“We understand that many passengers would prefer that voice calls not be made on airplanes. I feel that way myself,” said Wheeler.

His statement was made after an outpouring of criticism for the proposition. Criticism came from not just the airline employees and lawmakers but also from customers. Apparently there is a large amount of the flying population that doesn’t want to contend with noisy phone calls on an already cramped flight.

The FCC is the one who holds the ban on in flight calls because they are the ones in control of the nation’s airwaves. The proposal merely suggests that it is now safe to use phones while flying because of the change in technology.

In a fact sheet that was released Friday, the FCC stated, “It does not mean the Commission has endorsed phone calls from airplanes. The FCC is considering whether advances in technology no longer warrant — on a technological basis — the prohibition of in-flight mobile phone use. This is purely a technical decision.”

One travel blogger, John E. Discala, noted that while the airlines are against it right now, allowing cell phone usage on planes could actually be a source of revenue. “Imagine selling seats for more that are quiet zones,” he wrote on his blog.

Even if the five person committee decides to pass the proposal at their meeting next month it doesn’t mean that the FAA will allow phones to be in use. Ultimately the FAA and the individual airlines will make the determination whether or not cell phones will be allowed to be used.

[via The Washington Post]

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