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Broadband in the Sky? Where is America?

by hamako / August 31, 2005 10:33 AM PDT

On a recent Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Tokyo, I enjoyed the WiFi in-flight broadband service "Connexion by Boeing" (isn't that a US company? Wink he, he). It was just great. 30 minutes are $9.95 and the whole flight cost some $30, but it is worth every penny. Also there are some flexible options available to fit your personal needs, like block time (you pay only for the time you are actually on line).
E-Mail was possible already in the past, but WiFi is lifting this to a completely new level. Large attachments? No problem. I used FTP, to deliver a large file and even remotely accessed my computer at the office, did all my necessary work, which in the past usually took a day and more to catch up with. This time I just continued where I left off in the plane. Then I used SKYPE to phone my friends and business partners in Europe, Japan and the US for free or some 2 cents per minute (Skype Out). How was it in the past on international flights? $10 connection fee for satellite phone and then $10 per minute. Wow! In 4 minutes I was in the black. After having done all the work, it was time for fun, so I browsed the Internet, logged into my favorite radio station SWR3 in Germany and shocked the DJ with the "voice from the sky".
So, this great service is now available on El Al, ANA, Asiana, China Airlines, JAL, Korean Air, Lufthansa, SAS, Singapore Airlines and soon on Austrian Airlines and ETIHAD.
Did I miss something? This is an American service, but not one single US airline? How can that be? This is for sure not a question of costs, because the airlines will get their cut from the fees. Is that because of the bankruptcy procedures? Maybe someone can explain this to me?

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