Feeds

US Congress to vote on in-flight mobile ban

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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
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.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.