Broadband Deployment on Airplanes to Become Common Very Soon


Editor in Chief
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Dec 30, 2010
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Austin, TX

This story isn't exactly Android or Verizon related. In fact, it's not even cell-phone related, but we still thought it was pretty interesting news to share with you guys, especially for any of our members who travel by airplane in the U.S. frequently. Apparently, the FCC just formalized a set of rules that would help airlines offer broadband internet services easily on flights. While WiFi on some airlines is already a reality, so far, there has not been a wide adoption, and these new rules from the FCC will facilitate a common deployment. Here's a quote with the details,

Since 2001, the commission has authorized a number of companies to operate earth stations on aircraft communicating with Fixed-Satellite Service geostationary-orbit space stations.

Installed on the exterior of the aircraft, the satellite antenna carries the signal to and from the plane, providing two-way, in-flight broadband services to passengers and flight crews.

The commission’s recent Report and Order formalizes earth stations aboard aircraft — ESAA — as a licensed application in the Fixed-Satellite Service Fixed-Satellite Service and establishes a framework for processing applications while ensuring other radio service operations are protected from harmful interference.

Up until now, the commission has authorized ESAA on an ad hoc basis. Now, the commission’s approval process is streamlined.

Airlines will be able test their own systems to prove they meet FCC standards, establish that they do not interfere with aircraft systems, and then get FAA approval. The commission says the framework should allow the agency to process ESAA applications much faster.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said whether traveling for work or leisure, Americans increasingly expect broadband access everywhere they go and the new rules will help airlines and broadband providers offer high-speed Internet to passengers.

I wonder how this will play out with the typical airline rule of not using your mobile devices during take-off...

Thanks for the tip, Str8Aro!

Source: RadioWorld


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Feb 20, 2010
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It's a bigger rip-of than hotel wifi. Usually $10-$15 PER flight...although I think you can get a monthly pass for like $30. Personally I think a few hours a week/month not connected is probably a good thing.

I did once watch a March Madness game on a flight. That was pretty cool, and well worth the money.