Feeds

US Congress to vote on in-flight mobile ban

'HELLO? I'M ON A PLANE IN EUROPE! NO, IT'S AWFUL'

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

US lawmakers could ground moves to permit in-flight mobile phone calls. New laws to permanently silence mid-air yammering will go forward to a vote in the House of Representatives.

The Halting Airplane Noise to Give Us Peace Act (HANG UP Act) was approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee yesterday. The Act would permanently enshrine the Federal Aviation Authority's current restrictions on in-flight calls.

The proposed legislation doen't make safety claims against mobile phones on planes. Rather, it suggests that a free for all in-flight voice usage would simply be annoying.

Oregon Democrat Peter DeFazio, the HANG UP Act's sponsor, said: "With airline customer satisfaction at an all time low, this is not the time to consider making airplane travel even more torturous. Polls show the public overwhelmingly doesn't want to be subjected to people talking on their cell phones on increasingly over-packed airplanes."

HANG UP would allow text messaging and email in the air. But the laws are likely to attract powerful opposition from airlines, who see charging for voice access to new aeroplane picocells as a tasty potential revenue stream.

A permanent ban would set the US against UK and European regulations, which have recently been relaxed in favour of in-flight calling. In April the European Commission backed the idea, and earlier this week Ofcom said it would licence airlines to operate the necessary gear.

In the ruling, UK watchdogs said its consultation had "raised concerns about passenger welfare and the potential for discomfort, anti-social behaviour and 'air rage' on board". Ofcom washed its hands of such concerns however, saying that "at an operational level, such considerations fall to the airlines".

European carriers who implement in-flight calling systems would likely be forced to switch them off during transatlantic flights if HANG UP becomes law. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.