FCC releases plans to speed up in-flight WiFi


The Federal Communications Commission announced a proposal Friday that would speed up the Internet above 30,000 feet.

The proposal is likely to take years to reach, according to the New York Times.


The FCC plans to sell the rights to use newly available airwaves in an auction. The airwaves are ground-to-air and they transmit data much faster than by satellite. The airwaves would get in-flight Web surfing as fast as most in-home Internet connections, if not faster.

The commissioners also expect that the new airwaves would drive competition and lower the cost of using the service in the 15,000 Wi-Fi enabled planes expected by 2021, USA Today reported.

The proposed date for completion is 2020, but Engadget says it could be a decade before they could reach the goals listed in the proposal.

“We need and expect access to connectivity and content anytime and anywhere,” commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel told the Times. “The world simply does not wait for us to get off the plane.”

In the meantime, WiFi companies Gogo and ViaSat have major improvements planned for 2013.

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