US commission announces plans for faster in-flight WiFi


, Last Updated: 2:56 PM ET

The American governmental body known as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced plans to improve in-flight WiFi, enabling passengers to browse at faster speeds and access content such as video.

On Thursday, May 9, the FCC approved new regulations that aim to increase the speed of in-flight WiFi. Under these new proposals the FCC hopes to increase air-to-ground connectivity from the current allocation of four-MHz to 500MHz, essentially meaning that customers will be able to experience faster in-flight browsing and be able to access content such as video.

The FCC will accept comments on the proposal for faster WiFi for the following 60 days and, should the proposal go ahead, the FCC aims to sell licenses to allow internet service providers to share certain airwaves with satellite communications companies; though even if the plans proceed the implementation of in-flight WiFi of this speed is expected to take several years.

With constant connectivity becoming the norm for many people, a number of airlines are working hard to develop constant, fast, in-flight WiFi. Back in late March American airline JetBlue announced that its long awaited in-flight WiFi service would be called "Fly-Fi," Etihad Airways reportedly has plans to equip its entire fleet with WiFi by the end of 2014, and several other airlines, including British Airways, Lufthansa and Hong Kong Airlines, have WiFi on certain flights and/or certain routes.