The FCC which is known as the Federal Communications Commission has made big steps in allowing in-flight passengers to make phones calls, but it also has been mentioned that government figures are looking to make some major delays, go figure. Though I don’t think I would want calls to be happening anyways, unless it was regulated to certain parts of the trip only and emergencies of course.
The recent vote from the commission has it at 3-2 for public comment to be allowed on the the ban the was proposed over 22 years ago to ban phone calls from 32,000 feet. The lifting of the ban was mainly to keep up with the new technologies that are becoming available said 2 of the major voters in the commission. Though this could potentially go through, it doesn't mean the FCC will require airlines to allow their passengers to gain this new ability. Airlines will need to gain a license from the FCC and then have certain technology installed in order to allow the users to make calls and not mess up any instruments in the pilots of the plane.
Tom Wheeler stated, "This is a technological rule," he said. "We simply propose that because new technology makes the old rule obsolete, the FCC should get government out from between airlines and their passengers." The calls he said could still be banned, but users will be allowed to send emails, surf the web and send text messages back down to ground zero.
Don’t think this will be free either any time soon, the way the technology works will allow airlines to control when a passenger can send out any signals from the ir phone. The signals will be pointed to a satellite and then delivered to the proper users phone service back down on earth. However I can see an airline providing free WiFi at some point if the technology is advanced enough and competition pushes for it.
Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel stated that,"This proposal has been generating negative responses from those who work on planes,"and continued on saying, "I think our safety would be compromised." Anthony Foxx from the Transport Department said, "Over the past few weeks, we have heard of concerns raised by airlines, travelers, flight attendants, members of Congress and others who are all troubled over the idea of passengers talking on cell phones in flight — and I am concerned about this possibility as well,"
So even if it’s passed and airlines do allow us to use our phones, don’t expect anyone to be yapping away sitting next to you anytime soon. Lets just hope the airlines don’t charge us more than a few dollars for enough data to check our email and send some texts. That along with the free entertainment is all most users will need to get through a 12 hour flight as technology becomes a staple in most peoples lives.