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Surf the Skies at DSL Speeds–Assuming Your Laptop Hasn't Been Confiscated by the TSA

Published on August 20, 2008
by John Paczkowski

American Airlines (AMR) rolled out its take on cloud computing today, becoming the first airline in the U.S. to offer full in-flight broadband access. Dubbed “GoGo” and provided by AirCell, the service is available for a flat $12.95 fee on flights between New York and San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, and New York and Miami. Speeds are said to be roughly equivalent to those offered by a slow DSL connection. When Walt tested the service earlier this summer, he found the typical download speed to hover between 500 and 600Kbps. Upload speeds were between 250 and 300Kbps. Not bad. Certainly, good enough to make it compelling for some travelers. “It’s a game-changer,” said Henry Harteveldt, an analyst with Forrester Research. “You’re no longer forced to be isolated from what’s going on in your office, with your clients or with friends or family. For business travelers, this will greatly aid productivity, and for leisure travelers, it means they will be in control of their entertainment.”

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