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JetBlue Signs Deal for the Fleetwide WiFi of the Future

September 22, 2010 at 9:08 AM | by | ()

Oh freaking finally. JetBlue has announced a plan to get fleetwide WiFi up and running in the next couple years. Let's take a moment and just savor those words. "Fleetwide WiFi." Mmmmm.

Don't start juicing up your laptop for your next JetBlue flight with the hopes of logging on; the new system, a satellite broadband network developed via a partnership between JetBlue's LiveTV and ViaSat, won't begin to be installed until mid-2012. They've got to make the thing first. You see, instead of hopping on the Gogo WiFi bandwagon or signing up with another established name in in-flight WiFi, JetBlue is essentially creating their own network. The goal: "the industry's best inflight broadband for commercial aviation."

So, can they do it by mid-2012? JetBlue already attempted to take the in-flight WiFi bull by the horns three years ago, when they partnered with Blackberry and Yahoo to get BetaBlue up in the air, although the limited internet access caused that firecracker to fizzle quick. They've had time since then, lots of time. Should they play a game of catch-up? No. Should they give up on in-flight WiFi totally? Heck no. So they're doing the next logical thing: taking a bit more time to get it right.

This is our favorite quote, compliments of JetBlue CEO Dave Barger: "This system will be designed for the 21st century, not just for today's personal connectivity needs, but with the bandwidth to expand to meet tomorrow's needs as well." We're guessing that means streaming video and all the other goodies that come with high bandwidth. Assuming JetBlue comes back with their All You Can Jet Pass in 2012, people will be tweeting and blogging and vlogging their way around the country (and Caribbean) like never before.

We've said it before and we'll say it again: Viva In-Flight WiFi!

[Photo: Jaunted]

Archived Comments:


I think this system will allow the LiveTV to be operated over water along with the internet. This is especially welcome for their Caribbean flights. Now if only B6 could fly to Hawaii...

you're right

Satellite means the internet will work over water. Woohoo! While LiveTV cuts out when you fly too far out off the coast or you head down to the Caribbean, the WiFi won't. Assuming they do it right.