Our last refuge from being subjected to inane cellphone conversations may disappear if Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler has his way. The FCC is proposing new regulations that allow in-flight cellphone calls and use of data, except during takeoff and landing.
“Modern technologies can deliver mobile services in the air safely and reliably, and the time is right to review our outdated and restrictive rules,” said FCC chairman Tom Wheeler in a statement sent to reporters. “I look forward to working closely with my colleagues, the FAA, and the airline industry on this review of new mobile opportunities for consumers.”
Wheeler says he has circulated a proposal to modernize the rules covering in-flight cellphone calls and usage of data connections above 10,000 feet. The proposal is set to be discussed by the commission on December 12.
The plan will go through a phase of comments from the public and the Federal Aviation Administration.
The process will most likely take several months, and then the airlines would need to install specific technology to allow for the usages of cellphones. The rule change will not be mandatory for the airlines.