1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

FCC chairman: In-flight cellular calls should continue to be banned

By Shawn Knight · 13 replies
Apr 10, 2017
Post New Reply
  1. The Federal Communications Commission in 2013 considered allowing passengers on commercial flights to conduct voice calls. The proposal wasn’t all that popular as people across the country were turned off by the idea of being stuck in an airplane full of obnoxious passengers talking on the phone just because they could (because that’s exactly what would happen).

    Fortunately, the idea fell by the wayside as more pressing issues bubbled to the surface.

    With the recent change in power, however, the FCC is now revisiting the matter.

    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Monday circulated an order that would put an end to the agency’s plan to relax rules governing mobile communications on planes.

    Pai said in a statement that he stands with airline pilots, flight attendants and America’s flying public against what he calls the FCC’s ill-conceived 2013 plan to allow people to make cellphone calls on planes. The chairman said he does not believe that moving forward with the plan is in the public interest, adding that taking it off the table permanently will be a victory for Americans across the country that value a moment of quiet at 30,000 feet.

    What are your thoughts on the matter? Should the FCC continue to ban cellphone calls on flights or would you prefer to be able to place a call while in the air? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

    Permalink to story.

  2. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Guru Posts: 653   +468

    Hmm well technically this sounds like it should be an airline policy, not so much a law. As it stands, everybody is told they can't use their phone because it interferes with the airplanes communications which is confirmed to be complete nonsense. So while we shouldn't keep things the way they are, I do agree the law should go away and airlines should simply have a policy that allows for passengers to have a quiet flight.
    Impudicus likes this.
  3. Greg S

    Greg S TS Evangelist Posts: 1,607   +443

    Absolutely no voice communications on airplanes unless someone wants to buy me first class tickets for all my trips.
  4. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,134   +3,559

    I'm submitting a bill to ban the FCC chairman .... so far he's been completely Anti-American and he certainly isn't making America Great Again one darn bit!
  5. Paulos7

    Paulos7 TS Booster Posts: 34   +33

    And what’s with that cheshire cat grin that seems to be permanently etched on his face? Whenever I see his smiling face I think of that politician in “The Hunt for Red October” that said “Listen, I'm a politician, which means I'm a cheat and a liar, and when I'm not kissing babies I'm stealing their lollipops”. His incessant smiling is like “kissing babies”, and instead of “making America Great Again” he’s stealing our lolliepops. That bastard!

    Uncle Al, if you start a petition I’ll sign it. It should be against the law for a politician to smile, unless he’s making America great again. Harumph!
    Impudicus likes this.
  6. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 871   +393

    I don't see why people have such a hatred to people talking on their phones. To me, what is the difference between hearing 2 people talking vs. just 1? I am guessing it has some deep human psyche thing that makes us what to hear 2 sides of a conversation. Without knowing what the other person is saying makes a human dislike a half story? If you don't mind 2 people talking to each other in a plane, there is no reason why you should hate 1 person talking on a plane (on a phone).
    Impudicus likes this.
  7. QuaZulu

    QuaZulu TS Enthusiast Posts: 65   +10

    Perhaps I'm missing something here but to me the ban is ridiculous. No one has said the ban is due to safety concerns just the "annoyance" of people spaeking on their phones in transit. What?! That's the best you've got? Why not ban phones on a ll forms of mass transit then, not just planes. Better yet, have cell phone users stand outside in segregated areas...like the smokers. Nonsense. After the initial novelty of freedom wears off cell phone usage will fall to what is ordinarily seen in the rest of society. And people will be glued to their screens for their games or work...as they are now anyway.
    Impudicus likes this.
  8. Rippleman

    Rippleman TS Evangelist Posts: 871   +393

    So, no talking on a plane?
    Impudicus likes this.
  9. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,680   +417

    If you can get cell tower reception at 30,000 ft over the middle of an Ocean then I think they should be free to make phone calls on flights...

    I was on a flight not long ago and during take off the guy next to me was still on Whatsup... thing was he wasn't engaged in a multimillion dollar discussion just needing to get the last message off. He was scrolling through conversations looking for someone to message... I almost turned round to him to tell him where I'd put the phone if he didn't turn it off. I know technically it isn't going to cause the plane to plummet to earth and burst into a ball of flame, but it's a rule for everyone.
  10. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    While I fully and totally understand your patriotism son, but 'making America great again' is merely propaganda. What it equates to is just like saying "we're just a shadow of our former selves". The world is a far, far different place from what it used to be, and sadly, those good old days will never return, they're gone forever and I also agree with your sentiments about that FCC chief palooka, he doing nothing but upsetting a lot of people. His actions are just chest beating, challenging people to challenge him knowing he cannot lose, yet. Take consolation from the undeniable fact that nothing is forever and the time will eventually come when he's tossed out on his butt, hopefully replaced with someone better... sadly too, that's not always the case.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2017
  11. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,134   +3,559

    Surely you understand the concept of "Satire"????
  12. hwangsta

    hwangsta TS Rookie

    To everyone that thinks this is about talking on the phone on a plane, it is complete nonsense. This is about what all airlines and the current FCC chairman care about: $$$$

    Think about it, what options do you have if you want to make a call on a plane right now or even use internet? Airlines and just a couple companies have complete control of that. You have to pay them for internet use. Can't call anyone on a plane? All you need is internet and you can make WhatsApp phone calls and VoIP connections.

    People talk on planes all the time. If you have a problem with that put your headphones on and just relax.
  13. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    Of course it's all mainly about $$$ but it's also oneupmanship. Very important to remember that.
  14. There are a few reasons for the ban. First of all, above a certain altitude you don't have reception anyways. I know this from having forgotten to turn my cell off on a few flights. You're good for the first few thousand feet, but once you hit cruising altitude you get zero bars because you're out of range.

    More importantly, most passengers aren't paying to listen to 20 other people yap on their phones for 3+ hours. If they ever allow this, I'll toss the people out of the plane at 30,000ft myself and any of the freedom fighters who say "just put on headphones" with them.

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...