Will Self-Control Work For In-Flight Internet Access?

from the are-people-trustworthy? dept

With in-flight internet access getting closer and closer to reality for many airlines, there are still plenty of questions about etiquette and acceptable behaviors. Some airlines are purposely setting up content filters and blocking the use of VoIP (as much as possible, since it's possible to get around most blocks), but as Broadband Reports points out, some believe that people will self-regulate, in most cases. People surfing porn at open WiFi hotspots hasn't been a huge issue, because people know that others are around and so they have enough self-control. The same should be true on airplanes. And while we all know people who are oblivious to how rude it is to hold a loud mobile phone conversation in public, a few reminders and social cues may be enough to keep that from being a serious problem in the air. There will be exceptions -- but is trying to eliminate those few exceptions worth having a near total ban on certain activities?

Filed Under: etiquette, filters, flying, in-flight internet, internet access, self-control, voip


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  1. identicon
    Andrewjh, 12 May 2008 @ 8:35am

    Works on the bus

    I recently took BoltBus (new low-fare service that includes wi-fi) from Boston to NY and back, and I thought I'd have issues similar to those discussed in the original post. The thing is, people seemed to respect the driver's request that they keep cell phone conversations to a minimum and limit their internet activities so that all could make use of the limited bandwidth.
    I think the thing about courtesy in a space as confined as a bus or plane is that it's different than in movie theaters or restaurants - there's really nowhere to go, and if you're found doing something that's really annoying to those around you, there's really no way to get away with it. Self-control may not work on planes in all cases, but group-policing or a sort of hyper-local neighborhood watch will...

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