Hush: Why Cell Phones Won’t Spoil the Friendly Skies

Like virtually every other commentator I’ve read or person I’ve talked to, the thought of flying next to someone loudly conversing at length on their phone causes steam to come out my ears. I would not fly an airline that allowed such behavior, and I’m hardly alone.

That said, to those who love our laptops, tablets and smartphones and the uber-connectivity central to our modern, connected lives, newly installed FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler should be welcomed as a conquering hero for taking up the cause of more inflight freedom.

While we won’t actually see the FCC’s proposal until Thursday, the glare of the media spotlight has been intense and distorting. Headlines claiming the FCC is about to transform airline cabins into NASDAQ trading floors lose sight of the essential and wholly positive nuances of the actual decision at hand.

The FCC’s task is a narrow and technical one: It is…

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