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Though the timing may suggest that it's part of a United-backed conspiracy to prevent people from filming its goons roughing up passengers, the decision reportedly has nothing to do with that.

"Taking it off permanently means it is a victory for Americans across the country who, will surely value at 30,000 feet, a quiet moment", said Pai.

In 2013, the FCC floated the idea of repealing the ban on cell phone calls onboard commercial flights, which was first implemented in 1991. However, Wheeler's proposal had very few takers even then, as it was criticized and the FCC never implemented it, notes Ars Technica.

The idea first came to light in 2013 as Tom Wheeler - who was the chairman of the FCC then - introduced a proposal that would have changed the regulation now in place for banning cell phones on planes.

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The chairman went on to say that he did not believe making phone calls while onboard a plane would be in the public interest.

Wheeler had also argued that since there were no real technical issues for the FCC to address, the decision to ban in-flight calls should have been up to another agency.

Just to make it clear, you may use your cell phones for any other purposes you wish, the restrictions have only been imposed on the calling part. Doing so would not affect current policies that allow passengers to use their mobile gadgets during flights, as long as their cellular connections are in "airplane mode".

In this latest call for public comment, passengers' responses were cut from same cloth and an AirlineRatings review underscored the strong reaction against in-flight voice calls. If the previous proposal was passed, it would have allowed special equipment to be installed on planes to allow in-flight calls.

Flight attendants were among the most vocally opposed to lifting the ban because of concerns including passengers ignoring safety briefings, getting into fights over noise or possibly helping terrorists coordinate attacks. Most consumers could find it hard to acquire a cellular signal thousands of feet in the air, but recent advancements in technology have made it much easier to get connectivity to previously inaccessible areas such as airplanes.


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