Gov't weighs permitting cellphone calls on planes

Gov't weighs permitting cellphone calls on planes

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Gov't weighs permitting cellphone calls on planes

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by JOAN LOWY and SCOTT MAYEROWITZ / Associated Press

KING5.com

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 3:01 PM

WASHINGTON -- U.S. government regulators say rules against making cellphone calls during airline flights are "outdated," and it's time to change them.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement Thursday the commission is proposing greater in-flight access to mobile broadband. The proposal will be considered at the commission's Dec. 12 meeting.

Wheeler says modern technologies can deliver mobile services in the air safely and reliably. He says -- quote -- "the time is right to review our outdated and restrictive rules."

Flight attendants and others have worried that a plane full of chattering passengers could lead to arguments and undermine safety.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently lifted restrictions on the use of most personal electronic devices during takeoffs and landings, but not cellphone calls, which fall under the FCC.

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