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Archive for Wednesday, April 4, 2007

FCC won’t allow cell phones on planes

April 4, 2007

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— Striking a blow for cell phone haters everywhere, a government agency on Tuesday said it will keep a rule in place that requires the divisive devices to be turned off during airline flights.

The agency has been considering lifting its ban on cell phone usage on airplanes since 2004. The reasoning behind Tuesday's decision was technical.

Unlike the Federal Aviation Administration, which bans the use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices for fear they will interfere with navigational and communications systems, the FCC's concern is interference with other cell phone signals on the ground.

Airphones installed in cabins use a special FCC frequency that operates outside the range of regular cellular phones.

In an order released Tuesday, the agency noted that there was "insufficient technical information" available on whether airborne cell phone calls would jam networks below.

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