Thursday, December 6, 2007

Step In The Right Direction

From the NY Times:

In-flight Internet access is finally taking off in the United States.

Starting next week and over the next few months, several airlines will begin taking the first steps toward offering Internet service on their planes.

On Tuesday, JetBlue Airways will begin offering a free e-mail and instant messaging service on one of its aircraft, while American Airlines, Virgin America and Alaska Airlines plan to offer a broader Web experience in the coming months.

“I think 2008 is the year when we will finally start to see in-flight Internet access become available, but I suspect the rollout domestically will take place in a very measured way,” said Henry Harteveldt, an analyst with Forrester Research. “In a few years time, if you get on a flight that doesn’t have Internet access, it will be like walking into a hotel room that doesn’t have TV.”

The goal is to let passengers use their laptops or smartphones to download e-mail and use the Web as they would at any wireless hotspot on the ground. Virgin America even plans to link the technology to its seat-back entertainment system, enabling passengers who are not traveling with their own hardware to send and receive messages on a flight.

-Get the full version here.

--This is a step in the right direction because the FCC finally realized that you can't interfere with a hundred thousand dollar communication system with something you bought at radioshack. Westjet also announced they'll be offering this service.

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