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Government Networking The Internet Transportation Wireless Networking IT Technology

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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  • by Miamicanes (730264) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @12:14AM (#42417523)

    Please, for the love of God, Xenu, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster, no, not in-flight internet that screws with the stream and inserts its own ads into it, or intercepts random http requests and redirects them to interstitial ads. Taco Bell in South Florida tried that a few months ago, and it broke SO FUCKING MANY Android apps it isn't funny (because the access point's stupid software couldn't tell the difference between a http request for a web page, and a http request made to some web service whose client app is just going to crash and burn if it gets a 302 redirect in a context where the real app would never, ever return one).

  • by Miamicanes (730264) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @12:21AM (#42417575)

    ^^^ Oh, I forgot... it also broke non-http-based apps (including ipsec VPNs and SSH), because it would periodically decide to make you watch an ad, and start blocking all traffic from your IP address until you watched one. Except in the meantime, your app is freaking out because it's supposedly connected, but has no apparent connectivity. Oh... and the best part... whatever they were using to serve the ads had a bug that caused the Flash-based ad host to crash when you tried watching ads beyond the first, so once the initial session ran out of time and it decided to make you watch another ad, there was nothing you could do to reconnect and make it work again short of spoofing a different MAC address.

    Maybe this is something IETF needs to address, so "free-as-in-no-cash-trading-hands" wifi can at least communicate to OTHER applications that they need to make you watch an ad to avoid having the connection go away. In the meantime, though, I officially regard "free-if-you-watch-the-ads" wifi as a plague that does nothing except cause misery and render the service completely useless.

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @12:35AM (#42417631)

    I'm mac, and I use this: http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB441Z/A/apple-magsafe-airline-adapter [apple.com]

    Perhaps you should see what you need for your laptop. I've not had a power issues in a couple of years thanks to having the right adapter.

    Expecting to plug in to AC is rather retarded on an aircraft as it would require large inverters to power a full aircraft, and then all the inverters are going to do is power your converter thats going to bounce it back down to essentially the same voltage as it started out as.

    AC power is only good for long range transmission and large motors, beyond that, DC is what you want and you don't want to go bouncing around between the two any more than you have to.

  • by mrsquid0 (1335303) on Saturday December 29, 2012 @09:03AM (#42419231) Homepage

    Virgin is arguably the best airline that currently operates in the US. If they had flights to Vancouver they would be my default airline.

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay

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