In a slam dunk 4-0 vote, the Federal Communications Commission just proposed kicking off a process that could eventually make your experience cruising the Interwebs at 30,000 feet considerably less, shall we say, sedate. How? By auctioning off the rights to recently freed up airwaves, and allowing Internet service providers to share those airwaves with satellite companies.
According to the FCC:
The Commission proposes to establish an air-ground mobile broadband service, using a ground-based network to communicate with planes, by taking advantage of technical innovations to expand sharing of certain spectrum among users. Expanded availability of in-flight Wi-Fi will help meet demand from travelers to connect to a full range of communications services while flying in the contiguous United States. More options for in-flight broadband are likely to increase competition, improve the quality of service, and lead to lower prices.
Today’s in-flight Internet service involves either satellite (an antenna mounted atop the plane) or air-to-ground systems (an…
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