The Gadgets Page

September 17, 2007

High-Speed Internet on Airplanes

Filed under: Laptops,PDAs and Phones — Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am

The FCC has approved the use of cell phones and high-speed Internet on airplanes.

FCC approval and actual ability are two different things, however:

The FCC already had approved a high-speed Internet service provided by Boeing Co. Called “Connexion” which uses satellites to get air passengers online. The service is offered by some international carriers, including some flights to and from the United States.

But airline industry officials say cash-strapped domestic carriers haven’t bought into the service largely because of the cost — an estimated $500,000 per jet to install the needed equipment.

The FCC on Wednesday voted to allow airlines to offer high-speed Internet connections through the frequencies used by seatback phones. It would cost roughly $100,000 to outfit a plane with the necessary equipment.

In the end, we will be the ones to pay the $100K investment. Is it really worth ten or fifteen dollars a flight to access the Internet? Depends on how long the flight is. For me, I won’t even pay the cost to access the Internet at the airport. I get online with my Treo and by-pass their overpriced wi-fi access. I’ll probably just play with my Nintendo DS for a couple of hours on the plane instead of trying to get airline Internet access to work.

What I really wish the FCC would do is finally admit that electronic devices don’t really affect the airplane and quit making me turn off my devices when we are taking off and landing.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress
(c) 2003-2017 Michael Moncur, Laura Moncur, Matthew Strebe, and The Gadgets Page