Flying will be getting more enjoyable than ever for a lot of people with broadband Internet and USENET access being made available on many commercial flights.
Newly adopted rules should boost competition in this part of the U.S. mobile telecommunications market and promote “the widespread availability of Internet access to aircraft passengers,” the FCC said in a statement Friday.
The FCC, which shares regulation of in-flight communications with the FAA, has since 2001 authorized companies to offer Internet service on a case-by-case basis, the agency was quoted on saying on Technology Newsgroups.
The FCC is not the sole authority in this area, however, and the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) must still approve the idea of expanding in-flight WiFi service.
If that happens, reliable, in-flight WiFi should become a reality within the next year or two allowing users to access USENET Newsgroups from the sky! As good as that could be, neither the FCC nor the FAA have given approval for cell phone service on commercial airliners.
According to some observers, opposition to the technology is based primarily on so many passengers disliking the idea of listening to others’ personal phone conversations while trapped for hours in a metal tube miles up in the air.
By reducing administrative burdens on both applicants and the Commission, the new rules should allow the Commission to process ESAA [Earth Stations Aboard Aircraft] applications up to 50 percent faster, enhancing competition in an important sector of the mobile telecommunications market in the United States and promoting the widespread availability of Internet access to aircraft passengers.