Thanks to a more flexible resolution for licensing the air-to-ground frequencies taken by the FCC earlier this week, there is more of a chance we will begin to see high-speed web access on flights in the next year or two.
Some foreign airlines already have begun offering high-speed Internet access. Carriers including Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines System and Japan Airlines have begun offering high-speed Internet access through Connexion by Boeing, a division of the aircraft maker. Prices for the satellite-based service range from $8 for half an hour on short trips to $30 for an entire long flight.
But under existing regulations that have limited competition and technology for delivering high-speed Internet, it costs airlines $500,000 to equip each plane for the service -- too high for many.
Although this announcement mostly affects the US market, this also means that airplanes equipped to offer high-speed net access are set to become more popular which will finally take prices down as the service becomes more of a mainstream choice.