Boeing's sky-high Wi-Fi crashes to Earth
Boeing announced this week that it was closing Connexion, its high-speed broadband service, saying the market for the airborne project just wasn't there.
Connexion used satellite links to allow high-speed Internet access aboard planes in flight. Many other airlines postponed offerings to wait for cheaper, cellular-based services. Lufthansa, SAS, All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines and Singapore Airlines were the only major carriers offering the Connexion service on flights.
The move is certainly a big stumble on the path toward inflight Internet. And with security upgrades coming every day amid heightened terrorism worries, bloggers wonder whether any technology at all will be able to get on board.
Blog community response:
"Anyway, what killed this was cost. When I met with the Connextion team they told me it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to outfit a single plane with wifi. The profit margins in the airline industry are razor-thin, if they exist at all (many domestic airlines are losing money) so there was no way they would invest in something like this, especially in the face of rising fuel prices."
"After a week in a city where every coffee shop, motel, diner, and Chinese take-out has wifi, it's mind-boggling to me that Boeing found this business unworkable (though admittedly, in almost all those places, it's free...)."