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Largest US Cell Phone Provider Supports Ban on Airplanes

Cingular Wireless, the largest cell phone provider in the United States, has reportedly told the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that it's against lifting the cell phone ban on commercial airplanes. The FAA is studying the possibility of letting passengers use wireless devices such as cell phones on commercial aircrafts. The devices have long been banned because of fears that they can interfere with aircraft instruments. In a letter to the FAA earlier this month, Cingular stated, "We believe there is a time and a place for wireless phone conversations and seldom does that include the confines of an airplane flight." If the FAA decides to lift the ban, Cingular says it will actively encourage its subscribers to use their phones' data features such as text messaging rather than voice. Cingular isn't alone in its support for continuation of the ban. The Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA) and thousands of consumers have written to the FAA asking that the ban not be lifted. Planes have been one of the few places in which you can get away from noisy and inconsiderate cell phone users. It'd be nice to have access to data services such as Wi-Fi Internet connectivity on planes. But who wants to listen to the guy next to you talk to his buddy about last night's American Idol episode during an entire cross-country flight? Not us.

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