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FCC May Relax Ban On In-Flight Cell Phone Use

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(Photo credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (CBS) – There is some potential good news for travelers who have a hard time going off-line while in the air.

The FCC says it will consider some changes that may allow passengers to stay more connected than ever before.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently allowed use of gadgets during take-off and landing as long as they were in “airplane mode.”

Now, the Federal Communications Commission may go one step further.

The FCC says its 21-year ban on cell phone calls while in flight is, “outdated and restrictive.” It says modern technologies can deliver mobile services in the air safely and reliably.

So, it is now considering a proposal to allow passengers to make calls, text, and use all services on mobile devices while on flights.

The planes would have to be equipped with special antennas and the calls and texts would only be allowed above 10,000 feet.

The chairman of the FCC says he’d like in-flight connectivity to be the same as if a passenger was sitting in a coffee shop.

This proposal will be debated next month by the FCC. A final vote would have to pass within the commission to make this a rule and from there it would be up to each individual airline to decide whether to equip their planes to offer this service to passengers.

It should be noted that the United States is playing a bit of catch up here. Many other countries already allow in-flight cell phone use.

What do you think? Would you be in favor of cell phone use on a plane?

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