A new application procedure should streamline the process
The lack of Wi-Fi Internet on most airplanes isn't so much a technological problem as it is a consequence of a very inefficient application process on the part of airlines.Airlines aren't even to blame. They don't really have a choice, at the moment, but to ask the FCC for permission to use satellite-delivered airwaves, and then get approval from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration).
The latter's tests are thorough and aim to make sure the Wi-Fi causes no interference to navigation and piloting.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has now put together a faster application process for installing in-flight Wi-Fi systems.
It isn't clear how the FAA will adjust, if at all, but airlines should be able to cut the time it takes to get the approval in half.
By this time next year, planes might offer phones, tablets, e-readers and PCs access to wireless Internet more often than not.