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US debates lifting ban on inflight calls

first_imgAn Associated Press poll found that 59 per cent of Americans who took more than one flight in the past year are against allowing calls on planes. This number grows to 78 per cent among those who taken four or more flights.Wheeler said that it should be airlines and not the government that decide whether calls on flights are allowed.Read: European airlines to allow gadget use during takeoff and landing >Read: Airline passengers want to use smartphones, but only five per cent do > Over the past few weeks, we have heard of concerns raised by airlines, travelers, flight attendants, members of Congress and others who are all troubled over the idea of passengers talking on cell phones in flight – and I am concerned about this possibility as well.If the FCC decide to remove the ban on in-flight calls, the DOT could end up blocking the move anyway.The FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said that the agency sees no reason to ban calls on planes as the technology has changed and made the restrictions outdated, but while he acknowledged the concerns of passengers, he said that it shouldn’t affect the FCC’s decision. I understand the consternation caused by the thought of your onboard seatmate disturbing the flight making phone calls. I do not want the person in the seat next to me yapping at 35,000 feet any more than anyone else. But we are not the Federal Courtesy Commission.Our mandate from Congress is to oversee how networks function. Technology has produced a new network reality recognised by governments and airlines around the world. Our responsibility is to recognise that new reality’s impact on our old rules.center_img AFTER EUROPEAN AIRLINES decided to allow gadgets to be left on during takeoff and landing, the decision to allow calls on flights may be a step too far for some people.The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 to consider lifting its ban on in-flight cell phone use.However, it has met with opposition from a number of groups including the US Department of Transportation (DOT).The head of the DOT Anthony Foxx said that his department will be reviewing whether allowing phone calls on flights is fair on passengers. In a statement, Mr Foxx said:last_img

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