WiFi in Flight Regulations may be hampering more rapid deployments

An article in Travel Weekly reports that In Flight WiFi remains a very desirable amenity for travelers but is causing some headaches for carriers as they navigate the maze of regulations involved in WiFi enabling of commercial aircraft:

Passengers’ growing appetite for electronic gadgets and WiFi access is creating problems for airlines eager to sate that appetite. The challenge lies in enforcing myriad company policies and federal laws covering wireless communications.

The good news is that in-flight broadband is such a powerful amenity we are virtually certain to see it very fully deployed eventually.

As airlines test and equip their planes for in-flight WiFi, they have to figure out how to catch people using prohibited devices (or approved devices at the wrong time) with no practical means of detecting radio-based technologies that can operate out of sight in briefcases, carry-on bags or even pockets.

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