June 6, 2006
Dear CNET members,
Good news--fast Internet connections aboard U.S. commercial airline flights will be coming to you sooner than you think, as two companies just last Friday won licenses for airborne communications services. This means that in a few years (yes, a few years, it's not as simple as setting up your Wi-Fi at home), we all could be sitting on a long cross-country flight and surfing the Internet to keep our boredom at bay. Personally, I could get some work done, e-mail some friends, or even do some research about the destination-to-be. Doesn't this just sound wonderful?! I can't wait! Well, it was exciting until I read Editor Matt Lake's latest On the Dot article, "I'm the Internet. Fly me," where he talks about the details of how Internet on airplanes has to leap through both technological and social hurdles. For me, having technology available is great, but the social hurdles are what get me. I could imagine sitting on deck--to the right of me, Mr. Keyboard Pecker makes it sound like Morse code is back in style, while to the left of me, Mr. Gamer can't keep his swearing under his breath because he just got fragged. Then let's talk about the teenage girl behind me, who's using Skype to talk to her boyfriend...OK, if that how it's going to be, FORGET it! Now that I painted a picture for you of my imagined experience, please disregard it, and tell us how you feel about having Internet access on airplanes. Would you use it during your flight if it were available? Or do you think we'd all be better completely without it? Whatever your thoughts, step up and TalkBack to us. We're all ears!
This week's hot topic:
Airborne Internet access
While the use of cell phones on airplanes is still being debated, Internet on airplanes is moving closer to taking off. After reading Matt Lake's latest On the Dot article, "I'm the Internet. Fly me," several of you offered your two cents on having this
Social etiquette rules
CNET member internet at 38Kft mentions a few issues with Internet access on planes, such as the practicality of using laptops from an airplane seat. He also points out that social etiquette rules will need to be more clearly defined if new forms of communication are to be allowed
Read internet at 38Kft's full post in
With freedom comes responsibility
With the freedom of Internet use on planes, CNET member dphotos points out that if airlines make this available, they should have explicit responsibilities and rules for its usage for the consideration of other passengers. One example is porn viewing--which is something neither he nor his kids should be subjected to.
Read dphotos's full post in CNET TalkBack
My excuse to be unavailable is gone now
CNET member swmyers says that 20 years ago, it was the pager, then came cell phones, text messaging, cellular modems, then the all-in-one handy Palm Treo 700w--all designed to make him more valuable to his employer because he works even if he's not chained to a desk. Now with the Internet available on flights, he fears he will never have any opportunity to get away
from it all.
Read swmyers 's full post in CNET TalkBack
What do you think about having Internet access on airplanes? Do you welcome this new feature, or will it be another reason not to fly? Positive or negative, share your opinion with us.
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