[credit provider=” via Jaunted” url=”http://www.jaunted.com/story/2011/4/11/75125/6560/travel/%2430+Million+Dollars+Puts+JetBlue+One+Step+Closer+to+Fleetwide+WiFi”]
We’ve been hot on the trail of JetBlue’s plans for fleetwide WiFi access in the coming years, and it looks like tray table connectivity has just gotten a step closer to actually happening.Just don’t get too excited if you have a trip booked for later in 2011, as in-flight WiFi on JetBlue won’t be happening until 2012 at the earliest.
JetBlue has been working with ViaSat on all the satellite technology to get the newfangled connectivity options off the ground.
Now the airline has reached an agreement to use ViaSat-1, which is the world’s highest capacity Ka-band satellite. Hmm—sounds speedy. Seriously though, it should be rapid fast for passengers—although they’re not giving specifics—as well as having increased bandwidth for whenever passengers hit YouTube all at once.
The price tag for the technology is going to cost at least $30 million, as JetBlue is planning to utilise the new technology on both its Airbus A320 and Embraer E190 jets.
One of the next steps is certification through the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure that things work just as well up in the air as they do on paper. After that we’re thinking that it’s going to be a lot of late nights for those JetBlue employees working in the maintenance hangars.
Again, 2012 seems to be roundabout date you can expect to test things out for yourself, but we don’t know exactly which month—obviously we’re hoping for January. Once JetBlue, LiveTV, and ViaSat get all the kinks worked out with the new service, their attention will move over to Continental Airlines, as they’ll also be scoring some satellite technology within the next couple of years.
This post originally appeared in Jaunted