Hyphen Alert! JetBlue Announces First-Ever Satellite-Based In-Flight Wi-Fi

This doesn’t have a ton to do with education but I found it quite fascinating anyway. Jetblue has just announced that it will be offering in-flight connectivity by using satellites instead of ground-based methods. This could be a great way for science teachers to teach the basics of satellite communication versus radio transmissions from the ground. Regardless, it means there may soon be someone yacking on their phone while you’re trying to catch a few ZZZs during your next Jetblue flight. You’ve been asking about it, and now we’re excited to announce our plans for in-flight connectivity!

While the other guys are using a ground-based system built for the 20th century, we will launch a new, satellite-based product geared towards today’s (and tomorrow’s!) connectivity needs. This solution will again position us as the innovator to mimic.

Blue and pink? Apparently one side is male and the other is female?

Along with our new Business Partner ViaSat, we are creating what will be the industry’s best broadband connectivity solution. ViaSat’s innovative satellite technology will provide high-capacity broadband functionality that will be able to deliver real time two-way communications aboard our fleet.

Technology has outpaced ground-based connectivity options since we launched BetaBlue in 2007. The satellites in orbit today were built to transmit television and radio waves, not video, photo sharing and peer-to-peer networking. That’s where ViaSat comes in. Their satellite ViaSat-1 – launching next year – will create a generational leap in connectivity, bringing our Customers exponentially more bandwidth than any product in commercial aviation today.

We are introducing a revolutionary new technology to the industry, so the implementation will not be an instant upgrade. We will first need to launch the satellite, test the service, obtain FAA certification and install the new system on our aircraft. LiveTV will install and lead the certification process of the new system. Based on our timeline for that process and the need for ViaSat to launch the newly built satellite, we expect the first installations to occur by mid-2012. Although it won’t happen overnight, we promise it will be worth the wait!

Following the successful installation of the system, ViaSat and LiveTV intend to partner to bring the same advanced satellite broadband service to the airline industry.