FCC Acting Chief Thinks Inflight Phone Calls Are a Bad Idea

Since the FCC announced it would consider lifting a ban on in-flight phone calls, the Acting Chief has been less than optimistic about the concept of mobile wireless services on flights. In an announcement about the measure, the FCC’s Acting Chief, Roger Sherman, said, “Many are concerned that consideration of this proposal will lead to unbearable situations for airline passengers stuck next to loud, one-sided phone conversations. I empathize with that sentiment completely.” Which, is essentially saying it’s a terrible idea.

Sherman also went on to say that the FCC would allow individual airlines to make up their own rules, which makes one wonder if there will be no-phone sections on planes, much like no smoking sections in restaurants in the old days.

Under the FCC’s proposal, however, it is the airlines that have the ultimate say as to whether and how to provide additional wireless services – supplementing the Wi-Fi services they may already offer – onboard their aircraft while flying above 10,000 feet. If an airline chooses to provide this service, it could improve access to wireless data services while flying, facilitate the use of in-flight texting, or even bring competition – and potentially lower prices – to a new market for in-flight broadband.

Even the flying public thinks it’s a terrible idea. There were only two feedback from flyers on the FCC’s blog, both quite adamantly opposed to the idea of noisy flights filled with cell phone conversations, saying ” Wireless broadband yes. Cell phone calls NO.” Further, ” I sure hope that the airlines do not permit cell phone conversations inflight…”

What do you think? Should inflight calls be the norm? Let us know in the comments.