The Department of Transportation is drafting a proposal that could prevent airlines from allowing passengers to make in-flight cell phone calls, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday. In-flight calls are not currently allowed, but that could change soon because of a proposal by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler. The FCC has said its action would be “purely a technical decision” to lift outdated rules that prevent in-flight calling due to concerns about interference with ground-based cellular networks. In other words, the FCC isn’t taking a position on whether in-flight calls are desirable. And airlines would still need permission from the Federal Aviation Administration and the DOT to allow them. DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx said last December that he would consider a ban on calls, and the agency is now close to proposing one.

Read the full story at Ars Technica, and the original report at The Wall Street Journal.

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