FCC Proposes Plan To Build Fast In-Flight Wi-Fi System

In-flight Wi-Fi

A new proposal by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) could mean you’ll never have to fly without Internet again. If all goes as planned, newly available airwaves would be auctioned off, enabling Internet providers to increase the availability and connectivity speeds for airplane passengers across the US.

Internet service providers currently do not have any access to the airwaves through the airplanes travel. Current in-flight internet comes from satellites attached to airplanes, which communicate either with satellites or ground-based systems. Air-to-ground systems currently operate on a 4-megahertz band which affords roughly 3 MBps per second, per airplane. The new system would operate on a 500-megahertz band, allowing the transmission of 300 gigabits per second spread across all planes currently in the air.

Internet connectivity in the sky has been surprisingly stagnant and intermittent  especially compared to the coverage expansion of Wi-Fi across coffee shops and public spaces on the ground. Airplane Wi-Fi has fallen behind, with only a limited number of flights offering Internet connectivity, generally charging unusually high prices.

Even if the proposal is passed, however, consumers aren’t likely to see the new found high-altitude connectivity and speeds for another couple of years. This is just a first step towards building an in-flight connectivity network that can rival home networks. Until then, Internet-craving fliers will need to endure unreliable in-flight connectivity and slow speeds.

Dann Berg
Follow Dann Berg on Twitter ,Google+. or at Novice No Longer. Follow LAPTOPMAG on Twitter, Google+ or Facebook.
Dann Berg on
Email* (will not be published)
*Indicates required field
Submit Comments

All Product Types Accessories Cars Digital Camcorders Digital Cameras eReaders GPS Laptops MP3 & Video Players Projectors Smartphones Software Storage Tablets / MIDs VoIP Wi-Fi
All Subcategories
All Subcategories All-Purpose Budget Business Desktop Replacement Gaming Multimedia Netbook Nettop Rugged Student Tablet PCs Ultraportable
Acer Alienware Apple Archos ASUS Averatec BenQ CTL Corp. Dell Digital Storm eMachines Emtec Everex Fujitsu GammaTech Gateway General Dynamics Getac Gigabyte Hercules HP HTC iBuyPower Intel Lenovo MSI Nokia Nvidia OCZ OLPC OQO Origin Panasonic Sager Samsung Sony Sylvania Systemax TabletKiosk Toshiba Verizon Viewsonic Viliv VooDoo Workhorse PC ZT Systems
Minimum Rating
Any Rating 4.5 Stars 4.0 Stars 3.5 Stars 3.0 Stars
Screen Size
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 20 4 5 6 7 8 9
1024x576 1024x600 1024x768 1200X800 1280 x 720 1280x1024 1280x768 1280x800 1366x678 1366x768 1440x1050 1440x900 1600x768 1600x900 1680x1050 1680x945 1920x1080 1920x1200 800x400 800x480
Weight Range
10.1 - 12.0 pounds 12.1 - 14.0 pounds 14.1 - 16.0 pounds 2 lbs 2 pounds and under 2+ lbs 2.1 - 4.0 pounds 4.1 - 6.0 pounds 6.1 - 8.0 pounds 8.1 - 10.0 pounds Over 16 pounds Under 2 pounds
more options