FCC declares in-flight cellphones a dead issue for now

Not that there was ever really much doubt that the rest of the commission would take Chairman Kevin Martin's lead, but now it's official: in-flight cellphones are a dead issue for the time being, as far as the FCC is concerned at least. The masters of the airwaves issued a statement today saying that they would not move forward with the proceedings which had been underway to revisit the current ban, citing "insufficient technical information on whether the use of cellular phones onboard aircraft may cause harmful interference to terrestrial networks." Of course the fact that thousands of people called the agency bitching and moaning about the likely cacophony of flying chatterboxes probably didn't help matters much, nor did the blasé attitude most of the major airlines seem to have about this. Hopeful sky talkers can take some solace in the commission's claim that it could reconsider its decision in the future pending "appropriate technical data," and if nothing else, AirCell's impending in-flight WiFi will likely enable VoIP sooner rather than later -- although voice services will initially be locked out. So no gabbing on the plane quite yet, which is just fine with us, because we prefer to be knocked out cold the whole flight anyway.