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JetBlue confirms in-flight Wi-Fi coming soon, promises it’s way faster than Gogo

JetBlue is one of the most well-liked airlines in the United States, but its lack of in-flight Wi-Fi — now a necessary tool for business travelers and tech geeks alike — has been its biggest weakness.

But that’s about to change, as the company just confirmed it will be adding in-flight Wi-Fi later this year to some flights, and that it will be powered by ViaSat’s Exede. It’s also promising that JetBlue Wi-Fi — dubbed “Fly-Fi” — will be faster than all in-flight competitors including Gogo, the largest provider of in-flight Wi-Fi in the U.S.

The company said Wednesday in a blog post (emphasis ours):

“Our service promises to up the experience to satisfy the increasing appetite for connectivity across multiple devices.  Fly-Fi will be smarter, newer, faster and better than anything on the market today for commercial aviation. The up-side is, you’ll soon be able to experience Wi-Fi connections that do more than just frustrate you, the down-side is that because it’s a completely new way to deliver connectivity, there’s still a lot of testing to be done before the FAA, signs off, and our customers start seeing it on their JetBlue flights.

Extensive ground testing is currently being conducted by our partners, LiveTV and ViaSat, to make sure our Wi-Fi works well when deployed in the sky. We plan to install the Wi-Fi equipment on our first aircraft coming soon, at which point an extensive FAA certification process begins. Barring any setbacks during certification, we expect our first Wi-Fi-enabled flight with customers to take to the skies later this year.”

We look forward to testing the company’s claims that it truly does offer the fastest in-flight Wi-Fi in all the land. For now, check out this video to see JetBlue’s Wi-Fi in action versus the competition.

Copyright 2013, VentureBeat

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