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FCC paves the way for better in-flight broadband

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Matthias Schrader/AP/File

(Read caption) The FCC announced new rules on Friday that will make it easier for companies to provide in-flight broadband Internet. Here, a Lufthansa airplane comes in for an early-morning landing at Munich Airport.

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Lots of airlines offer Wi-Fi on their flights, but if you've ever tried to use it, you know the service can be ... less than ideal. Scarce bandwidth, frequent outages, and high-connection charges on lots of planes can make the prospect of connecting to in-flight networks a dicey proposition.

For some people, that's a plus: after all, a flight is one of the rare times when you can enjoy a novel or take a nap, untethered from the demands that come from being online. But if distracting yourself from a long flight with Facebook and YouTube sounds like more your cup of tea, you can thank the FCC: the Commission established rules on Friday that will make it easier for companies to offer Internet service on airplanes.

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