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Alaska Airlines Working to Launch Inflight Wireless Internet

Alaska Airlines Working to Launch Inflight Wireless Internet

Old Sep 18, 07, 9:24 am
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Thumbs up Alaska Airlines Working to Launch Inflight Wireless Internet

I've never seen this brought up on this board yet, but I just got an E-Mail about Alaska setting up wireless internet on they're planes. Please see the attached link: http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix....486&highlight=
I haven't decided if this is a good thing or a bad thing... a plane is one of the few places I DONT have to deal with calls and E-Mails... if there was internet access available, I think I'll be enticed to work. I'm sure most people will be happy about this, and actually I think it will be nice too... What are everyone else's thoughts?
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Old Sep 18, 07, 10:12 am
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They'd better block Skype and all other VOIP services or they'll have a lot of very angry fliers on their hands -- fliers who have to sit next to those using Skype and VOIP.

And it looks like they may be doing so, as well as limiting streaming media to what can be cached on an onboard server: "high-speed access to the Internet, e-mail, virtual private networks and stored inflight entertainment content."
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Old Sep 18, 07, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by Seattlenerd View Post
They'd better block Skype and all other VOIP services or they'll have a lot of very angry fliers on their hands -- fliers who have to sit next to those using Skype and VOIP.
That would be funny. The FA's would be wondering why so many people were PO'd when internet service was offerd for, say $15 a flight and had to pay for it because AS blocked Skype and VOIP.
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Old Sep 18, 07, 11:48 am
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Originally Posted by toadman View Post
That would be funny. The FA's would be wondering why so many people were PO'd when internet service was offerd for, say $15 a flight and had to pay for it because AS blocked Skype and VOIP.
huh?
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Old Sep 18, 07, 12:12 pm
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Why should they block access to Skype and VOIP? Internet is internet, bytes are bytes. Why should it make a difference if my seatmate is chattering to a neighbor or chattering on Skype?
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Old Sep 18, 07, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
Why should they block access to Skype and VOIP? Internet is internet, bytes are bytes. Why should it make a difference if my seatmate is chattering to a neighbor or chattering on Skype?
For the same reason why many people don't favor cell phone use in-flight -- the conversations tend to be louder.

Mike
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Old Sep 18, 07, 12:24 pm
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
Why should they block access to Skype and VOIP? Internet is internet, bytes are bytes. Why should it make a difference if my seatmate is chattering to a neighbor or chattering on Skype?
Because if you are the neighbor in the adjacent seat, you have a choice whether to converse with your row-mate -- it's a type of social agreement to chat. If they are on Skype and you are seated directly next to them, you have no escape from the chattering the entire flight. It's not like you're in a public place where you can move away.

An appropriate counter might be to break out in song if they're on the phone (and clueless about the effect on others). There's a reason headphones are required for personal video and music players -- to avoid inflicting your entertainment choices on others who have no other place to go. The same should apply to conversations, unless you're a willing participant.

(Now, any phone conversations on board are self-limiting, since they can only occur before the door closes and after landing.)

There's also the issue of bandwidth. Bits are indeed bits, but VOIP and streaming media take a significant amount of bandwidth, so it wouldn't surprise me if AS would block them inflight.

Email, IM and Web browsing are usually silent activities, or at least no louder than turning pages in a books.

Last edited by Seattlenerd; Sep 18, 07 at 12:35 pm Reason: added bold
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Old Sep 18, 07, 12:26 pm
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VOIP won't be an issue. The Row 44 system uses geosynchronous satellites, which means latency too high for voice calls.

I believe it's using the Hughes constellation (formerly Direcway, formerly DirecPC.)

Don't expect particularly zippy performance.
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Old Sep 18, 07, 12:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Seattlenerd View Post
Because if you are the neighbor in the adjacent seat, you have a choice whether to converse with your row-mate -- it's a type of social agreement to chat. If they are on Skype and you are seated directly next to them, you have no escape from the chattering moron the entire flight. It's not like you're in a public place where you can move away.
Right, but if you are NOT the seatmate being talked to, and two people are talking in your row... how is this different?
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Old Sep 18, 07, 12:38 pm
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
Right, but if you are NOT the seatmate being talked to, and two people are talking in your row... how is this different?
People who can see each other tend to be more mindful of the effect conversation has on others in the immediate area. Those on mobile phones go into their own world -- it's as though they no longer inhabit the space, or consider the people, where they are. It's the person on the phone who's more important than what's in their surroundings.

Also, people in the same row (assuming 3-3 configuration) tend to turn to talk to the person they're conversing with, and only use a volume that's appropriate. The same can't be said of phone use.

There are always exceptions, of course.
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Old Sep 18, 07, 12:42 pm
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Originally Posted by terrier View Post
VOIP won't be an issue. The Row 44 system uses geosynchronous satellites, which means latency too high for voice calls.

I believe it's using the Hughes constellation (formerly Direcway, formerly DirecPC.)

Don't expect particularly zippy performance.
Good Point! The latency with satellite is terrible 500 to 1200ms ping times. FWIW not only would VoiP be nearly useless, the latency would probably cause a lot of havoc with VPN's for the business types as well. Casual albeit slow surfing and some email connectivity is about all its good for.
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Old Sep 18, 07, 3:11 pm
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Originally Posted by mrchris View Post
Good Point! The latency with satellite is terrible 500 to 1200ms ping times. FWIW not only would VoiP be nearly useless,
urgh, I can just see people -trying- to get it to work: "HELLO? Are you there? Can you hear me? I can barely hear YOU!...Why doesnt this work - HELLO?...etc, etc"

Email/Internet surfing is great - but PLEASE Alaska, no VOIP/Skype!
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Old Sep 18, 07, 4:56 pm
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Originally Posted by SeaSfoWeekly View Post
urgh, I can just see people -trying- to get it to work: "HELLO? Are you there? Can you hear me? I can barely hear YOU!...Why doesnt this work - HELLO?...etc, etc"

GUESS WHERE I'M CALLING FROM
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Old Sep 18, 07, 5:30 pm
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It will be neat to flyertalk from the air though!!! I can't wait... I hope it does go through, (and not cost too much...)

Maybe MVPG's can get a free pass code as an additional perk? I know- wishful thinking...
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Old Sep 18, 07, 5:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post

GUESS WHERE I'M CALLING FROM
Oh God....... and of course that will be the guy next to me shouting loudly just as I dozed off....... sigh....... this does not sound like a good thing.
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