Here Comes In-Flight Wireless Services

from the connecting-everything,-everywhere dept

The FCC apparently is sick of being incommunicado while flying and has decided it’s time to do something about it. First, they approved a plan to auction off spectrum specifically for handling wireless data connections from airplanes to the ground. What’s unclear from the announcement is just how much spectrum they’ll be offering. Part of the debate is whether or not a single carrier (hello, Verizon) should be able to control the necessary spectrum, or if it would be a more competitive market. In somewhat related news, the FCC gave a sort of non-committal “yeah, we’ll look into it” answer concerning the question of mobile phones on airplanes. This means it will still be quite some time before anyone seriously is looking at allowing phones in flight — but the door has at least been opened. It’s clear that at least part of this discussion will involve everyone’s favorite question of just how annoying will it be if you have to sit next to someone yakking away loudly on their mobile phone for an entire flight.

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