JetBlue Will Finally Offer In-Flight Wi-Fi... In 2012

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Illustration for article titled JetBlue Will Finally Offer In-Flight Wi-Fi... In 2012

JetBlue, one of the more forward thinking airlines in the industry, has been conspicuously behind some of its competitors when it comes to offering in-flight Internet access. But JetBlue's delay might allow it to offer better service than the competition.

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JetBlue's late start may actually allow it to offer a better service than its rivals and it looks like it's finally ready to start rolling out web access across its fleet, FlightGlobal reports.

But because it's using a different technology than today's existing in-air wi-fi providers, it's going to take a while.

JetBlue won't start installing the gear until mid-2012, FlightGlobal says; the system needs to be tested and approved by the FAA before it can be rolled out.

The main configuration difference is that JetBlue's wi-fi will be getting its bandwidth from satellites, versus today's hook-ups, which get it from the ground.

"This system will be designed for the 21st century, not just for today's personal connectivity needs, but with the bandwidth to expand to meet tomorrow's needs as well," JetBlue CEO Dave Barger tells tells FlightGlobal.

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DISCUSSION

Oddly, Southwest is already rolling out satellite wifi on their planes. They made a similar claim, ie. "we waited for better tech" but they have it in 10 planes now. I travelled on one from Sacramento to San Diego last month. It was great! I used it on an iPhone and got 1.5 Mbps down and 10 Mbps up. Yes, you read that right. Tested twice with the Speedtest app. Don't ask me why uploads were so much faster. Also, it was only $3 for the 1.5 hr trip. Of course, anything streaming was blocked.