Up until late this year, internet access has been a privilege served only to those flying on domestic carriers — the signal delivered on most of those flights is provided by land-based mobile phone towers. Those flying overseas, conversely, were doomed to their overhead video projectors and DIY in-flight entertainment.
With satellite communication, however, several carriers are now starting to offer wireless internet onboard trans oceanic flights. Among those serving the US, Lufthansa will be the first to bring service to hungry internet browsers, starting on service from New York, Detroit and Atlanta into Frankfurt.
The service, which will be delivered over a wireless signal, should be “fast enough to connect to a VPN and send large attachments,” though the airline has provided few hard metrics on exactly how much bandwidth each passenger will receive.
Lufthansa is further augmenting their onnboard internet with a new service called Cloudstream, where passengers will be able to pick out assorted content prior to departure, cache interesting links into a virtual folder and browse the content while onboard. They’ve even asked a few local travel folks for interesting, inspirational links.
To get the service rolling, internet will be offered for free on all wireless equipped flights through the end of January.