JetBlue signs letter of intent with ViaSat, inflight Wi-Fi in the works

In a press release today, JetBlue and ViaSat announced a partnership that will bring inflight broadband to JetBlue’s fleet of airplanes. As the press release reads:

ViaSat and JetBlue have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the provision of in-flight broadband access and other services for customers on JetBlue’s fleet of more than 160 aircraft using ViaSat advanced Ka-band satellites.  Under the arrangement, ViaSat will provide Ka-band antenna components and SurfBeam®2 modems for installation on the airline’s EMBRAER E190 and Airbus A320 aircraft types along with two-way transmission bandwidth services using the WildBlue-1 and high-capacity ViaSat-1 satellites. JetBlue subsidiary, LiveTV LLC, will manage the integration of the ViaSat broadband and related components onboard the aircraft as well as providing the Wi-Fi enabled services into the overall cabin experience.

Live TV, combined with the Internet at 32,000 feet will definitely help improve the “overall cabin experience.” The deal isn’t set in stone however: “JetBlue and ViaSat have completed the non-binding MOU with the intent of signing a definitive agreement before the end of this calendar year.” Hopefully, the two companies can ink something more permanent soon and add Wi-Fi to the list of JetBlue inflight amenities.

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