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FCC Smooths the Path For Airlines' In-Flight Internet 93

Posted by timothy
from the paving-the-path-wouldn't-make-sense dept.
The Washington Post reports on a development that may push Internet access on commercial aircraft from a pleasant luxury (but missing on most U.S. domestic flights) to commonplace. Writes the Post: "The Federal Communications Commission on Friday approved an application process for airlines to obtain broadband Internet licenses aboard their planes. Previously, airlines were granted permission on an ad hoc basis. Airlines need the FCC’s permission to tap into satellite airwaves while in flight that enable passengers to access the Internet. They also need permission from the Federal Aviation Administration, which oversees the safety of inflight Internet systems." I hope that on-board Internet not only becomes the default, but that free advertising-backed access does, too; especially for short flights, the "24-hour pass" paid access I've seen on United and Delta is tempting, but too pricey.
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FCC Smooths the Path For Airlines' In-Flight Internet

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  • I don't really need internet access on a flight, but when I'm on a 3 hour flight and I am running so many applications on my laptop that my battery is only good for 2 hours, I would really love to have an outlet to plug in and keep my battery charged. Unfortunately most of the planes I've been on in the past 7-10 years have been of the regional jet variety which generally don't have AC outlets for anyone.

    As much as I generally am rather fond of the EmbraerJets, I am rather annoyed that they never give me anywhere to plug in my laptop, it would well offset my frustration over the inability to stand up in the aisle.
  • by PPH (736903) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @02:01AM (#42417741)
    Some smart person will write a browser extension that says, "Sure, I'll watch your ad. Stream it right here where I'll pipe it to /dev/null".
  • by mrsquid0 (1335303) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @09:48AM (#42419157) Homepage

    It is nice to have the option of checking the results of a hockey game during a long flight, but in general I agree; having to live without an internet connection for several hours is not a hardship. It is not hard to download a movie or two the day before flying, and anyone who is is critical to their company that the company cannot function if they are out of contact for a few hours needs to be replaced. Critical failure points like that are too dangerous to keep around.

  • Re:Pricing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CohibaVancouver (864662) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @11:27AM (#42419587)

    Too many price-insensitive business travelers willing to pay *any* price with the corporate credit card

    I'm a business traveller - Flew 65K miles on 66 segments in 2012. When I've been on flights with IF internet I've never bothered with it. I edit presentations, work on spreadsheets, reply to email ("save draft"), or watch a movie. It's my few hours when I'm *not* connected...

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."

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