FAA Seconds FCC On Grounding In-Flight Mobile Phone Calls

from the but-what-about-voip? dept

Over the weekend, a story out of the UK began to get some buzz, when an American FAA representative supposedly told a British newspaper that the FAA will not approve in-flight mobile phone calls after the agency received a ton of complaints when it publicly began considering the shift in policy. Of course, this is somewhat meaningless, because the FCC had already said no to the change in policy, and both agencies would likely need to agree before any change went into effect. So, for those of you (and we know there are lots of you) who were terrified by the idea that you might get stuck sitting next to someone jabbering away into a mobile phone for a cross-continent flight... rest easy. Well, rest easy until you realize that voice is just a form of data, and it's only a matter of time until internet access in the sky means the person sitting next you will be jabbering away via Skype for a cross-continent flight no matter what gov't agencies have to say about mobile phones in the sky.

Filed Under: airplanes, in-flight voice, mobile phones, voip
Companies: faa, fcc

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Botch the Crab, 8 Oct 2007 @ 9:35am

    As opposed to...?

    Last time I flew, though I wanted to sleep, I was unfortunately at the end of an aisle that contained two women, one of whom had an infant on her lap. When the baby started making its various baby noises, the two started chatting, became fast friends and talked the entire plane trip, all five hours of it. (Their conversational stamina was impressive.)

    Now, how is that different, really, than an overheard cell phone conversation? If the concern is the bothersome noise, then chatting women and babbling babies are just as annoying. Except, unlike with mobile phones, one can't as easily complain about cheerful people talking cheerfully, or babies making noise.

    It seems the only real difference is the greater opportunity for conversation that mobile phones provide. If it's just a question of degree... I don't see what anyone has to complain about. Certainly, I would hope that neither of those two women I mentioned would be among the mobile phone complainers.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.