Feeds

US Congress to vote on in-flight mobile ban

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.