The FCC approved new rules on Friday that will make it easier for companies to offer broadband Internet on airplanes. The FCC has authorized in-flight Internet on an ad hoc basis since 2001, but the new rules will provide a framework for licensing companies to provide it.
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.