Most flights in the US don’t have in-flight WiFi, but that looks like it’s going to change rapidly. First, the FAA decided to start talking about loosening restrictions on electronic devices during take-off and landing and now the FCC wants to help all airlines to offer in-flight Wi-Fi.
In-flight Internet already exists, so its application isn’t exactly a technical problem. The issue is that every airline has to get permission from the FCC to use the satellite-delivered airwaves in-flight Wi-Fi requires, and up until now there was no application process. Instead, every case was considered in an ad hoc basis, making the progress extremely slow.
A new license application process the FCC announced on Friday should make it wildly easier for airlines that don’t have some sort of in-flight broadband setup to get it. According to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, the new process speeds things up by at least 50 percent, making the transition into the in-flight Internet utopia we all want that much quicker.
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