Monday, Sep 26, 2016
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BUSINESS BRIEF

FCC chair not in favor of in-flight cell calls

NEW YORK — A day after setting off an uproar among travelers opposed to the idea of in-flight phone calls, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission backtracked, saying he personally isn’t in favor of calls on planes.

“We understand that many passengers would prefer that voice calls not be made on airplanes. I feel that way myself,” chairman Tom Wheeler said in a Friday statement.

The role of the FCC, he added, is to advise if there is a safety issue with using phones on planes. The decision to allow calls will ultimately rest with the airlines, Mr. Wheeler emphasized.

Mr. Wheeler struck a nerve with travelers Thursday when he said it was time for the agency to review “our outdated and restrictive rules” about mobile services on airplanes.

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