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Monday, December 24, 2021

As what used to be a no-fly zone for Web access gets un-wired-up, what airline passengers will be doing with that high-altitude bandwith while in close proximity to others is raising concerns.

Panasonic Avionics Corp., a Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. unit testing airborne services on Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd., is designing its high-speed Internet services to block sites on “an objectionable list,” including porn and violence, said David Bruner, executive director for corporate sales and marketing.

He said airlines based in more restrictive countries could choose to expand the list.

The company also is recommending that airlines permit Internet-based phone calls only on handsets with wireless Wi-Fi capabilities — the technology delivering access within the passenger cabin. Bruner said the company believes Wi-Fi handsets use less bandwidth than telephone software that runs on laptops.

Airlines, he said, also could block incoming calls — and the annoying ring tones they produce — or designate periods of quiet time.

Those policing efforts are mainly the province of overseas flights. U.S. carriers are going decidedly more laissez-fair:

“We think decency and good sense and normal behavior” will prevail, said Jack Blumenstein, chief executive of Aircell LLC, which is launching service on some American and Virgin flights in 2008.

Decency? Good sense? “Normal” behavior? Obviously this guy has never stood in line at a Starbucks for 5 minutes while surrounded by non-stop cellphone jabberers. Imagine enduring that for a 3-hour trip from New York to San Fran.

Besides that, it’d be a royal pain to scrunch over a notebook computer in a space where even legroom is non-existent. The best alternative would be an ultra-small wi-fi device — like my iPod Touch, for instance! So I guess this would work out well for me.

by Costa Tsiokos, Mon 12/24/2007 02:47:55 PM
Category: Internet, Wi-Fi, Society
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  1. when I heard about this I was even more excited that I have an iTouch. My fiance won’t be able to use his iPhone tho, haha.

    Comment by Tara — 12/27/2007 @ 03:06:32 PM

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