FCC Nixes Proposal for Cell Phone Use On Planes; Internet Is a Possibility

Any future proposal by airlines to allow cell phone use during flights was officially dashed on Tuesday by the Federal Communications Commission. In a release, the FCC cited "insufficient technical information" regarding whether or not cell phone calls while airborne would disrupt networks on the ground. Currently, FAA regulations require all cellular phones to be shut off upon an aircraft's takeoff. Some airlines had been touting the idea of allowing cell phone use while in-flight, but that was all but ended with the FCC's decision. However, the Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. airlines will start offering in-flight Internet connections, instant messaging and wireless e-mail within 12 months. Carriers are expected to start making announcements around the end of the summer, with service beginning early next year, according to the paper.

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