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Readers Fly WiFi

Dan Jones
LR Mobile News Analysis
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor
7/28/2006

Tech-savvy Unstrung readers are looking forward to getting WiFi access on airliners according to our recent WiFi poll. A whopping 72 percent of you say that WiFi availability could be a deciding factor in choosing an airline. These results must be music to the ears of JetBlue, which recently won in U.S. auctions for ground-to-air broadband spectrum. (See JetBlue, AirCell Win Some Airtime.)

Many readers expect that it will be a while before WiFi becomes generally available on planes. Out of 69 respondents to the WiFly With Me poll, 47 percent don't expect to see WiFi on planes before 2009.

Then there is the vexing question of how much users should pay for WiFi access once securely strapped into their seat. Respondents are split on this but 47 percent want free access and another 37 percent want inflight WiFi for $10 -- the cost of a couple airline beers. Far fewer want to pay more.

If you're already using inflight WiFi, you surely don't want to pay extra for VOIP calls. A 63 percent majority say they want VOIP to be free.

Naturally, the mechanics of air travel in the cheap seats can also get in the way of a good online experience. The biggest concern about using WiFi on a plane wasn't flight safety or the security of their laptops, but the space to surf in. Nearly 50 percent of you complain that the seats are too small to open their laptops properly.

Now that you've earned your WiFi wings, maybe you'd like to click through to our newest poll, which asks: Just do you want out of a smartphone?

Click here Smartphone Survey and vote. Vote like the wind.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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