FCC eases licensing rules for Internet access on jets
BY Wire reports
Saturday, December 29, 2012
12/29/12 at 5:52 AM
The Federal Communications Commission moved Friday to ease licensing requirements for in-flight Internet services.
"These new rules will help airlines and broadband providers offer high-speed Internet to passengers," said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who has pushed the Federal Aviation Administration to relax its restrictions on in-flight use of electronic devices.
The FCC, which shares regulation of in-flight communications with the FAA, has since 2001 authorized companies to offer Internet service on a case-by-case basis.
The new rules set up a way to establish that systems meet standards for not interfering with aircraft controls, a step toward getting FAA approval.
The FCC's order sets rules for satellites to communicate with mobile devices used by aircraft passengers and crews. In such systems, an antenna on the airplane communicates with satellites, and mobile technologies such as Wi-Fi spread signals within the aircraft's hull.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski: "These new rules will help airlines and broadband providers offer high-speed Internet to passengers."