Wi-Fi Internet access on airplanes could become more ubiquitous as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted rules to "promote deployment of Internet services onboard aircraft".
According to the FCC, airlines have been able to deploy Internet access on their planes since 2001. However, Internet access systems so far have to be licensed on an ad-hoc basis, while the FCC rules will allow the companies to test their systems against published FCC standards in order to received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
As a result, airlines are promised to cut the application and approval time for an aircraft-based Internet access system roughly in half. "The Commission’s action enables broadband providers to meet increasing consumer demands and promotes the economic growth and job-creating impacts of ubiquitous broadband," the FCC said in a statement. "This action also continues the FCC’s efforts to update and streamline regulatory requirements across the agency."