with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Air Travel – Cellphones out, WIFI in

Want to talk on your cell phone during the flight? Well, you can’t. Cell phone users on airplanes are considered annoying. So how do you stay in touch while in flight? You’ll have to let your fingers do your communicating.

I’m currently working on development and installation of wireless broadband Internet on international airplances while watching the United States, FAA, and other organizations battle this issue out. It seems that cell phones are bad, WIFI is great.

Opposition to a federal proposal to allow wireless phone calls on U.S. airline flights has air carriers and federal regulators considering a less controversial alternative that could still help busy executives turn idle travel time into productive work time: wireless internet connections, reports Washington Watch.

In December, the Federal Communications Commission proposed relaxing its nearly 15-year ban on wireless phone use during U.S. flights. Since then, the agency has received thousands of messages opposing the idea. Travelers, as well as flight attendant groups, claim cell phone use on airplanes would cause fights between passengers talking on the phone and those annoyed by the conversations. Members of Congress have also objected.

As a result, airlines and wireless carriers are testing Wi-Fi networks. In June, the Federal Aviation Administration gave Verizon Airfone and UnitedAirlines approval to test Wi-Fi equipment for use in flight after demonstrating that it would not interfere with airline instrumentation. Meanwhile, Cingular Wireless wrote to the FAA saying passengers should be encouraged to “tap, not talk” during flights.
U.S. Airlines to Allow In-flight Internet Connections

SOURCE: Brent VanFossen – Engineer with a View

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