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14 Jan 2017

Every JetBlue Flight Now Has Free Wi-Fi That Blows Gogo Out of the Water

Having internet in the sky is a minor miracle. On the other hand, it is often unusable garbage. But things are looking up, and JetBlue's universal, speedy, gate-to-gate Wi-Fi is an example of how things are getting better. It's now available on every JetBlue flight, for free.

Your go-to touchstone for what in-flight Wi-Fi is like might be the notoriously awful Gogo, which actually faced a lawsuit from American Airlines due to poor performance that the airline claimed did not live up to the standards of their agreement. Fortunately, JetBlue's "Fly-Fi" as it is called, is satellite-based internet, a different breed from plans that are still using Gogo's older air-to-ground tech. This new satellite tech can enable speeds of up to 20 Mbps per device—more speed than you might have coming to your house down on the ground.

JetBlue didn't cook up Fly-Fi all on its own. It's the project of a partnership with ViaSat, the satellite internet company that, for the time being, is Gogo's biggest competitor. The same company that recently made a contract with American Airlines, which will further increase the competition for faster in-sky internet, which will benefit us all in the long run. Gogo's working on a speedier satellite solution as well, something called 2Ku, which offers speeds of up to 70Mpbs to aircraft. It's only in 100 planes right now though, but over 1,000 planes are slated to get it eventually. The catch is that so long as the old ATG tech is still out there, you'll have to look under the hood to know if you're getting Good Gogo or Bad Gogo.

Source : Hearst Communications, Inc.

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