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."