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    JetBlue offers 12 Mbps on flight free Wi-Fi in US

    JetBlue, an American low-cost airline starts offering its customer free on flight Wi-Fi. JetBlue and its partner ViaSat revealed that their Fly-Fi service has finally gone public after months of testing. The base Fly-Fi service, called Simply Surf, provides Internet access via satellite at 12Mbps (1.2MB per second) to each passenger. This is more than astonishing when the highest average U.S. broadband speed is only 11.4 Mbps, in the District of Columbia. Simply Surf will be free through June 2014 as part of the service's introduction, with Fly-Fi Plus costing $9 per hour. A pricing scheme past the first six months has not yet been decided, but JetBlue senior vice president of marketing Marty St. George says his goal is to keep it free.

    Only five JetBlue jets will be outfitted with in-flight Wi-Fi by the end of the year, but the airline plans to add more than 140 planes throughout 2014. ViaSat’s satellite system is different from services offered by Gogo, Panasonic, and Row44 in that it allots high-speed bandwidth per passenger instead of per plane. This means flyers are not competing with one another for a strong connection.
    ViaSat’s network currently only covers the continental United State, but it will expand when ViaSat launches its second satellite in mid-2016. ViaSat director of mobile broadband Don Buchman says the system will then cover overseas flights to Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, and the flight route bridge to Europe.


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