One Step Closer To Air-To-Ground Communications… But No Boeing
from the hiding-and-waiting dept
A number of companies have been waiting to bid on FCC spectrum concerning air-to-ground communications from airplanes, and now that the first round of bids are in, there’s some surprise that Boeing has decided to sit this round out. As Glenn Fleishman notes, they may simply have decided that the bidding will go too high to make any money — and they’re already too focused on their satellite efforts to waste time with a second method. Fleishman’s other suggestion is that Boeing knows that whoever wins the bid is likely to come to them anyway for a partnership, so why not just sit back and wait, and not get caught in auction madness. Either way, we’re that much closer to no longer being quite so “disconnected” when we fly any more. While there are some flights (mainly long, international ones) that have internet access, it’s far from common, and this spectrum could shake things up a bit. Among the interesting bidders is JetBlue. It’s been surprising that JetBlue hasn’t yet jumped on the internet-in-the-sky bandwagon. They’ve been promising to go there for years, but never seemed to do anything. Apparently, they felt that things like Boeing’s Connexion offering were too expensive — but that this new spectrum could be useful. What would be interesting here is if they kept all the spectrum to themselves, giving themselves quite the differentiator, especially for domestic US business travelers.