Most people who ride on planes actually look forward to that rare moment of peace and quiet (well except if there are chattering passengers or crying babies of course) in between the take off and landing.
Had Wheeler's proposal been approved, it would have fallen to individual airlines to decide how and when to equip their planes with equipment to support in-flight cellular service.
He has taken steps to prevent smaller Internet providers from selling low-priced broadband to the poor, as well as to reverse a proposal that would have lifted a ban on in-flight cellphone use. Doing so would not affect current policies that allow passengers to use their mobile gadgets during flights, as long as their cellular connections are in "airplane mode".
But Pai's predecessor as FCC chairman, Thomas Wheeler, argued that the ban had become obsolete because many airliners basically carry their own cellphone towers for in-flight entertainment.
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The proposals backing inflight calls would benefit telecommunications companies rather than passengers, said John Dean, former White House counsel to President Richard Nixon, in a 2014 commentary for the legal Web site Justia.
"The FCC is making the right decision not to pursue lifting the ban on in-flight calls", said Taylor Garland, a spokesman for the association.
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai's plan to repeal the net neutrality rules isn't sitting well with Silicon Valley. This is often advocated as the main reason for banning cell phones on planes. No federal regulations now govern Wi-Fi calls during flights, although most USA airlines prohibit all voice calls. As for using data connections during flights, Garland was a bit more open to the idea, though cautioned that a "thorough assessment of the potential security risks" would be in order. Unfortunately for folks that'd like to make a few calls while 30,000 feet in the air, that plan is now dead. Communication satellites and drones have been on the cards as approaches to get the network to beyond reachable areas.