FCC Poised To Revisit Decades-Old Ban on In-Flight Cell Calling

CBS Philly

[worldnow id=9628170 width=400 height=300 type=video]

By technology editor Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Federal Communications Commission today took the first step forward in a plan that would allow cell phone calls on airliners.

In a narrow 3-2 vote, the FCC decided to open public comment on the proposal. But don’t break out the earplugs just yet: there are several moves afoot to block the lifting of the ban — including a bill introduced by a Pennsylvania congressman.

“I’m the last person in the world who wants to listen to someone talking to me while I’m flying across the country,” says FCC chairman Tom Wheeler.

But, Wheeler notes, his agency is “not the Federal ‘Courtesy’ Commission”; its role is to examine innovations, like those which have killed concerns of cell phone interference in midair.

“Where there is new onboard technology that eliminates that potential for interference, then there is no need for…

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