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There was much rejoicing when the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration announced last month that we'd soon be able to use devices likes iPhones and iPads during all segments of flight (as long as they're in Airplane Mode), but today's announcement from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) faced a much more lukewarm reception. According to The Wall Street Journal (via MacRumors), airline passengers may soon be able to make voice calls and use cellular data above 10,000 feet. Talk about Pandora's Box.
The fear springs from the realization that such freedom means we may end up spending thousands of miles listening to the person next to us yak about their business meeting or why their kids should stop doing out with another. As it is, barring the occasional frustrated baby, flights arerelatively quiet affairs, with the only conversations being spoken with nearby passengers.
Source: Digital Trends
There's hope, though. According to the terms of the proposal, airlines would be able to decide for themselves whether passengers are allowed to make calls during flights. It's also not the first time the idea has faced resistance. A similar proposal was put forth in 2007, but the FCC ditched the idea after facing many similar complaints and because of a "lack of technical information."
Still, the naysayers only slightly won out in 2007. According to the Journal, "A survey of 1,600 U.S. adults cited by the FAA showed a split on the issue, with 51% of respondents expressing negative reactions to in-flight phone calls while 47% reacted positively."
Delta Airlines, for its part, expresses dislike for the proposal. In their statement to the WSJ, the airline said that "Years of customer feedback" demonstrate that "the overwhelming sentiment is to continue with a policy that would not allow voice communications while in flight."
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.