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DOT Looks to Ban In-Flight Phone Calls
by Karl Bode 08:05AM Tuesday Aug 05 2014
Last fall the FAA lifted restrictions on in-flight electronics use during take offs and landing, and last January the FCC began rulemaking to lift the restrictions on in-flight phone calls. Wheeler and the FCC took a lot of heat for that move (and is still fielding mostly negative comments on the idea). FCC boss Tom Wheeler responded by arguing that since tests showed no technical interference, the FCC's authority as a technical regulator was over -- and it would be up to someone else to ban loud mouths at 30,000 feet.

Since that time, Congress and other agencies have stepped in to earn political brownie points from a public annoyed by the idea of sitting next to a chatty Kathy in flight. Among them is the Department of Transportation, which is cooking up rules that would block in-flight phone calls:
A spokeswoman confirmed that the DOT is developing "a notice of proposed rulemaking" for publication in December that would lay out its objections to passengers making and receiving calls. It would open the issue for further comments by industry and travelers until February before making a final ruling, according to a regulatory filing.
Text and mobile data use would not be impacted by the rules, the report notes. Carriers, eager to charge an arm and a leg for in-flight voice minutes, are lobbying the government to scrap the rules.

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Premium,ExMod 2000-03
La Grange, IL

3 recommendations

reply to gene32

Re: Nothing to worry about

You might want to check out the technology before making all those incorrect assumptions. This involves a microcell system on the plane linked to satellite and ground stations, not your (illegal) "test" with existing cell sites.

Holy Cable Modem Batman

Washington, DC

2 recommendations

Should be up to the airlines...

This should be up to the airlines, not the government.