Airplane Internet Access That Doesn’t Suck?

If you’ve ever attempted to download a large document or watch a video clip while flying, chances are you’ve experienced some serious frustration. The chief problem is that the vast majority to in-flight systems currently in operation rely on ancient cellular technology capable of achieving speeds roughly equivalent to an old fashioned dial-up modem. Frustrating indeed.

Thankfully, by mid-2014 both Virgin America and Jet Blue will be launching a substantial upgrade capable of delivering 60 Mbps connections throughout an entire airplane. By dedicating the existing cellular system entirely to uploads and tapping into a new species of Ku-band satellites for downloads, both web surfing and real-time video should generally become equivalent to land-based wifi.

Or to think of it slightly differently, the solo mile high club is coming soon to a small cramped seat… near you.

[“In-flight Internet Is About To Suck A Lot Less,” Wired, 9/11/2013]

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