I think I've figured out what Delta has been working on instead of doing a decent job of providing service to their customers and taking the stress out of travel.
As a follow-up to my recent post about Internet connectivity on airplanes, Delta has announced a partnership with Aircell that will soon allow me to "surf the friendly skies" as it was said. They're considering a cost between $10 and $13 per flight for broadband access throughout.
I guess it doesn't really matter if it's wireless or wired broadband service to the laptop because at some point along the transmission... it's gonna be wireless.
Also the cost of running wires throughout the plane to each seat would probably be ridiculous. I have a hunch that making custom changes to standard airliner seating is a bit pricey.
A current description of the service is as follows "The “Gogo” system will let customers traveling with Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, smartphones and PDAs, to access the Internet, corporate VPNs, and corporate and personal e-mail accounts, as well as SMS texting and instant messaging services."
I also wish they would charge a bit more for it considering the concerns I mentioned about people using broadband IP phones via their computer to conduct conversations while in flight. Maybe the latency will prevent it, I have yet to see any information about real throughput and latency numbers for this service in action although they must exist.
If it is fast enough for IP phone usage I could take my FeatureTel Cisco IP 7940 Series phone with me and when you called me at my local 919 area code desk number it would actually ring in my lap at 34,000 feet. If this is the case it shouldn't be long before IP phones get squeezed down to mobile phone size as my Cisco desk phone would currently fill up my entire lap. Almost more than email and web surfing I'm looking forward to chatting from the air. That's gonna really make on-the-go productivity a reality.
Next thing to consider, porn on a plane? I guess it already comes on DVD and I haven't ever seen it on a plane yet so maybe it isn't a concern.