Print 9 comment(s) - last by ZmaxDP.. on May 15 at 5:46 PM

FCC has started auctioning frequencies that will enable airlines to offer in-flight Internet services

Nine companies including including Verizon’s Airfone, JetBlue’s LiveTV, AirCell and Arcadia’s Broadband have qualified to bid for the frequencies that will allow fliers to access the internet and VOIP, in-flight. The auction was initially announced in January and since then the FCC has released various documents outlining the structure and projected process for the event. Participants are bidding on commercial licenses in the 800MHz band in three alternative configurations.

Once FCC approves the two winners, they can start building a service that allows its users to start surfing the Internet, use Instant Messaging, e-mail or even make phone calls using VOIP. The bidding can be tracked at the FCC Spectrum auction site, which at the time of publication is up to $3.5M USD.

Like it or not, these developments have the potential to increase passenger productivity while making for a noisier cabin with simultaneous conversations that might require a new in-flight etiquette.  Now only if they would add AC outlets to every seat, the Chicago to Osaka flight might be a little more tolerable.

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By android1st on 5/15/2006 3:28:22 PM , Rating: 3
They (the FAA) need to respectfully request that people NOT use VoIP. Think of the headaches it will cause, with the uninformed, over-opinionated (not to mention nervous) percentage of the population that flies complaining every 10 minutes "that guy over there didn't turn his cell phone off!" Then they will leave their cell phones on. I just don't think this is a good idea. IM, email, but no voice communication should be allowed on a plane for another decade.

By rushfan2006 on 5/15/2006 4:41:39 PM , Rating: 2
Good point. I thought the crying babies on board were bad enough, after this goes through and,shudder, goes mainstream - you can kiss your nice relaxing 6 hour flights cross country good bye. Its going to be noisy as hell!

By Scabies on 5/15/2006 5:18:22 PM , Rating: 2
Save us.

By ZmaxDP on 5/15/2006 5:46:46 PM , Rating: 2
Of course, if you're flying on one of those airbus monsters, you could just make your way to one of the public areas for phone calls...

Can't wait to see the price of this service...
By rushfan2006 on 5/15/2006 2:14:31 PM , Rating: 4
Based on the extraordinary charges to use AirFone services...I can see it now when you go to access the internet inflight..first screen "Select form of colateral for this transaction : (a)left arm, (b)right arm, (c) first born"....


By IMPoor on 5/15/2006 3:30:09 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly my thoughts. Do I have to help load the luggage to get a login for my laptop? On a long flight 2.5+ hours I would consider paying a few bucks to fire up the internet on my laptop but then again I could alwasy get a vodka tonic instead.

I like the aisle seat
By Scabies on 5/15/2006 2:16:33 PM , Rating: 2
haha, I'm 6'6" comfortable flights are hard to come by.
Now, I thought that they cut off communications to/from passengers due to research following 9/11, namely that a plan was in the works to call a cell-phone triggered bomb on a flight. Couldnt you IM a laptop bomb now?
AOL:"You've got Terrorism"

RE: I like the aisle seat
By Oderus on 5/15/2006 2:24:01 PM , Rating: 2
ROFL... good one.

A/C outlets from Chicago to Osaka
By irev210 on 5/15/2006 2:11:39 PM , Rating: 2
Just sit smart :)

If you are flying coach, just sit in 20 A/B or H/J

Its great, unlimited leg room.

If you arent lucky enough to pick 20 A/B or H/J here is a seating guide on AA from Chicago to Osaka. Hope this helps.

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