ViaSat Takes Flight with American Airlines

On Friday, American Airlines announced that ViaSat, a California-based communications company, will provide satellite-powered wireless Internet on 100 new planes. ViaSat will assist the airline with its goal to switch from ground-based to satellite-powered technology.

Time is money in our society, and with satellite-powered WiFi, consumers will be just as productive in the air as they are on the ground. More bandwidth will allow individuals to stream Netflix, peruse their social media, send emails, and more. According to ViaSat Chief Executive Officer Mark Dankberg, ViaSat is prepared to make “Wi-Fi on airplanes…about the whole Internet.” The company plans to offer 12 megabits per second to each passenger, rather than the 10 megabits per second designated by Gogo Inc., a Chicago-based Internet provider, for passengers to share. This will provide faster Internet, which has been in high demand since connectivity was first made available on planes.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Gogo said that of the 1,100 American planes with its Wi-Fi systems, 550 are subject to a contract option that allows American to drop Gogo’s ground-based technology at any time. Gogo expects that American Airlines will utilize this option at some point.

However, Gogo has not lost American Airlines as a customer. While ViaSat may be providing for 100 new Boeing 737 MAX aircrafts, Gogo still is a part of the airline’s business plan. According to spokesperson Casey Norton the airline still plans to use Gogo’s 2Ku satellite service on 134 Airbus Group planes.

Read more here- “ViaSat deal breaks Gogo’s hold on providing Wi-Fi on American Airlines planes” (Mike Freeman, Los Angeles Times)

Gogo Falls as American Holds Right to Pull Service on Jets” (Justin Bachman and Mary Schlangenstein, Bloomberg)

Consumer Alert: Gogo Issuing False SSL Certificates” (Kyle Burgess, Consumers’ Research)


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