FCC Considers Changing In-Flight Cell Phone Rules06:05
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The FCC announced it would consider changing cell phone use rules, and allow passengers to make calls above 10,000 feet. (Pieter Ouwerkerk/Flickr)
The FCC announced it would consider changing cell phone use rules, and allow passengers to make calls above 10,000 feet. (Pieter Ouwerkerk/Flickr)

"I would rather insert sharp objects under my fingernails," technology consultant Larry Irving told The Washington Post, in reaction to the Federal Communications Commission’s announcement that it will consider new rules to allow passengers to make calls and access data on mobile devices in-flight above 10,000 feet.

The announcement has been met with a strong negative response. FCC chair Tom Wheeler received hundreds of emails overnight saying the move would lead to unbearable noise in-flight, and that it’s a further assault on passengers who are already being squeezed into smaller and smaller seats. Other fliers have started a petition on the White House website "We the People" to halt the move.

Wheeler says the rule banning calls in-flight is 20 years old and out-of-date, adding that "modern technologies can deliver mobile services in the air safely and reliably, and the time is right to review our outdated and restrictive rules.”

Wheeler says that the change would create “new mobile opportunities for consumers.” Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson speaks to Washington Post technology reporter Cecilia Kang.

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This segment aired on November 22, 2013.

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