Cellphones

Transportation Department Mulls Airplane Cellphone Ban as FCC Prepares to Lift Its Own

Mulling one step forward, mulling one step back

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can you he-
Reason

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 today to move forward on rescinding a long-standing ban on the use of cellphones on airplanes, but that doesn't mean the government is ready to leave that decision up to the airlines. The Department of Transportation may impose its own ban.

From the AP:

As one part of the federal government looks to remove restrictions on making phone calls from airplanes, another agency is apparently considering its own prohibition.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Thomas Wheeler told members of Congress that while his agency sees no technical reason to ban calls on planes, Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told him Thursday morning that the DOT will be moving forward with its own restrictions.

One step forward, one step back.

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  1. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Thomas Wheeler told members of Congress that while his agency sees no technical reason to ban calls on planes, Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told him Thursday morning that the DOT will be moving forward with its own restrictions.

    A reduction in pointless control freak restrictions cannot be tolerated. If it were, the peons might realize that they’re pointless control freak restrictions!

    1. But if the government doesn’t tell us what to do, who will epi!? WHO WILL!?

      1. Banners gonna ban, and something just opened up.

      2. Hugh will?

  2. Based on the comments I’ve read from different online stories about this proposed ban, pretty much everyone wants it. Not for any safety or legitimate reason, but simply because they don’t like the idea of the person sitting next to them talking on the phone.

    1. But they probably do like the idea of being able to use cellphones themselves

      1. Oh of course, but only to play Angry Birds.

        But that elderly lady chatting with her sister about her gallbladder operation is just something we need the benevolent hand of government to protect us from.

        1. I would be fine with the benevolent hand of the airlines on this.

          1. +1 invisibility

    2. Except that someone’s cell phone won’t be very effective after a few thousand feet (correct me if I’m wrong). So what’s the worry? They do know that some flights (Virgin if I recall, for instance) have phones that you can pay to use, right?

      1. Didn’t everyone used to have inflight phones that you needed to use a credit card to eject?

        1. I don’t know, but Virgin had them on every single seat. In the late 90’s/early 2000s Virgin had a small screen on the back of every headrest, on which you could watch multiple channels of entertainment, or play Nintendo, or make phone calls (the Nintendo controller was also a phone if I recall correctly). It was pretty neat. They also gave you as much booze as you asked for. I flew into Heathrow on the night of Guy Fawkes’ Day after a transatlantic on Virgin, and I had had plenty of wine. That was fun.

      2. More effective at altitude. Max range is about 22 mi. That would be 110,000 ft. Airliners cruise at 30-40k ft.

        1. So let the airline ban or not ban as they see fit. Oh, wait, sorry, I wasn’t thinking like a control freak statist scumbag.

          1. Come on, anybody dumb enough to get into the airline business is too dumb to actually you know, fly planes.

            If it wasn’t for the government oversight of these companies, planes would literally be falling out of the sky.

          2. It’s ALWAYS been a stupid rule. They made it to cover their asses because no one ever cared to do the science until now. Way back in the days of vacuum tubes, a radio interfered with aircraft instrumentation once. So instead of fixing the problem, they said no transmitters of any kind.

            I wonder what percentage of cell phones get left on during your average flight anyway? I bet there’s at least a couple. Hell, I’ve done it a few times.

            The FAA is the poster child for regulation stifling innovation.

            1. I have. It makes your battery go dead really quickly.

            2. That’s what I always figured. There is no fucking way that every single phone on every single flight every single day is disabled during flight, and planes aren’t dropping out of the skies.

              Ergo, it’s all bullshit.

  3. Sometimes man you jsut have to roll with it.

    http://www.Privacy-Planet.com

  4. I predict that if cellphones are allowed the airlines will charge a hefty fee for renting noise-canceling headphones.

    1. Noise cancelling headphones don’t work well at high frequencies: they basically cut out the low-pitched drone from the engines, but you can still mostly hear the people right next to you. I suspect most of the noise relief effect stems from most noise-cancelling headphones being closed cans that physically dampen a lot of noise.

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