Many people are aware that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has banned cell phone use on airplanes. Far fewer people are aware that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also a similar ban in place.
The FAA’s ban is there because of the possibility — however remote — that phones might interfere with planes’ electronics. FCC’s ban, on the other hand, is there because this U.S. government agency is concerned that cell phones on planes might cause problems for ground-based cell networks.
In recent years, the FCC has been investigating the possibility of lifting its ban, but it announced yesterday that it will not do so at this time because it lacks sufficient technical information to make an informed decision.
The agency said it would "reconsider this issue in the future if appropriate technical data is available for our review." This is an open invitation to the airlines to provide data proving that it is safe.
Some airlines have been working on systems to allow them to offer mobile phone service on planes to their passengers. Of course, any such system would have to have the approval of both the FCC and FAA.
Via the Associated Press