Tightening of flight restrictions this week may foreshadow trouble for in-flight Internet

Fly much? If you do you’re probably thrilled about the prospect of passing time-in-the-sky online for a nominal fee.

Do to the attempted attack on a Christmas day flight this week, however, the TSA has tightened flight restrictions to include no use of any electrical devices for the last hour of US bound, international flights.  Makes sense of course and what does an hour mean to in-flight Internet providers or people who want to be online?  Not a lot for international flights, but if this restriction were broadened to include domestic flights as well, this could put a very interesting spin on the in-flight Wi-Fi industry.  An interesting article on Wi-Fi Networking News (Dec. 26) discusses the effect such restrictions may have on Wi-Fi service pricing in the air for flights that are, say, 2 or 3 hours.  Would the average Joe pay providers Aircell and Row44 $10.00 for what may turn out to be only a couple of minutes of Wi-Fi access?  How soon would it be before service prices began to dip?  It’s more than a possibility that most people would trade the brief Internet access for a cat nap and a nice bag of peanuts (which also may eventually end up costing $10.00 – but that’s another story).   Read more blog news on this subject.

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