In-flight Internet, intranet access scheduled for arrival

In-flight Internet, intranet access scheduled for arrival

By Mark A. Kellner

Special to GCN

JUNE 22—The Digital Living Room conference in Dana Point, Calif., this month displayed wireless and broadband ways for agency travelers and telecommuters to connect to their office networks.

The event demonstrated airborne Internet connectivity, first seen in the Defense Department's Joint Warrior Interoperability Demonstration exercises during the late 1990s. Commercial aircraft late next year will use a JWID-style flat-panel array antenna to link back to Earthbound intranets and the Internet.

Using the Connexion mobile broadband service from Boeing Co. of Seattle, airlines will sell in-flight access to the Internet, e-mail and television in real time.

A user must have a notebook PC with an Ethernet card and cable to hook into the onboard network and then out to the Internet. In-seat power will also be available from Connexion.

The conference, sponsored by Upside Media Inc. of San Francisco, featured demonstrations of broadband applications for telecommuters.

3Com Corp. of Santa Clara, Calif., showed its HomeConnect gateway, which connects broadband digital subscriber line or cable Internet service to a 10- or 100-Mbps Ethernet in an employee's home.

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