In-flight Wi-Fi is like the internet ten years ago: expensive, and loaded line-by-line. But also like the internet 10 years ago, we’re being promised much faster service in the near future (from a monopoly provider).
Gogo is one of the existing big names for in-flight Wi-Fi. Its existing services, available on major domestic carriers, is good for things like Twitter and emails. But if you get a 737-load of people streaming YouTube, it will completely fall to pieces.
So, that’s why the company is working on 2Ku, a satellite-powered system that promises broadband-quality internet, hopefully sometime in the next year. Engineers are a few weeks into flight testing, and things look good! In the video above, you can see dozens of laptops hammering away at YouTube videos, and no buffer bars in sight. The sooner I can have this on my cross-country flights, the better.