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First Impressions of American Airlines Broadband
1613kbps down, 297kbps up....at 30,000 feet....
by Karl Bode 09:09AM Friday Aug 22 2008
Laptop Magazine author Joanna Stern documents her experience with the new American Airlines in-flight broadband service, saying her speed tests showed 1613 kbps downstream and 297 kbps upstream. While American Airlines promised that they wouldn't filter content via their new in-flight broadband service, they've stated they will be blocking VoIP. Andy Abramson discusses how he was able to use Phweet, a flash audio based VoIP service, to talk to Stern for free while she was airborne despite the restrictions.

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pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

1 edit

1 recommendation

Learn To Behave

quote:
Andy Abramson discusses how he was able to use Phweet, a flash audio based VoIP service, to talk to Stern for free while she was airborne despite the restrictions.
The quickest way to kill a service like this is to abuse it by not following the rules. What is going to happen when everyone decides to use VOIP on a plane?

Unless you can afford to own and/or charter your own private jet, you simply are not important enough to use a phone on a plane.
--
"At the moment of conception."
Expand your moderator at work
thevorpal1

join:2007-11-16
Alexandria, VA

Re: Learn To Behave

said by pnh102:

The quickest way to kill a service like this is to abuse it by not following the rules. What is going to happen when everyone decides to use VOIP on a plane?

Unless you can afford to own and/or charter your own private jet, you simply are not important enough to use a phone on a plane.
You seem to have two arguements here:

1. What would happen when everyone decides to use VOIP on a plane?

Well, what would happen if everyone on the plane decided to stream video? The real question here should be what sort of restriction on the packets we use on the aircraft, not the services that generate them. A reasonable restriction would be to give us a service-agnostic limit to follow.

2. Unless you can afford your own charter, you aren't important enough to use a phone on a plane? That is a VERY bold claim, and one that has NOTHING to do with the network's capacity or capabilities.

It seems that your real issue here is that you want to control the behavior of others by using the limitations of a network as an excuse for your inability to deal with someone holding a conversation on a phone.

WickedWinter

join:2003-08-02
USA

1 edit

1 recommendation

Re: Learn To Behave

So a six hour flight with business men/women barking in to their cell phones all around is OK?

VOIP is not blocked becuase of the packets it uses, it's blocked becuase it's intollerable, and would likely cuase riots, and mass exodus of cusotmers.
jaminus

join:2004-10-14
Arlington, VA

Re: Learn To Behave

Why not have a "VOIP section" in the back of the plane for a few extra bucks?

Besides, who doesn't have headphones nowadays to pass the time on flights?

cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7

Re: Learn To Behave

said by jaminus:

Why not have a "VOIP section" in the back of the plane for a few extra bucks?
Yeah. That worked pretty well back when smoking was permitted on planes. The smoke hit the imaginary wall and prevented the non-smoking section from having to breath in the smoke. I'm sure that same wall will be just as effective for people talking on their cellVOIP phones.

Besides, who doesn't have headphones nowadays to pass the time on flights?
Most phone conversations are two way, so while headphones would prevent the speaker's sound from being broadcast around the cabin, it would do little to prevent the "can you hear me Can you here me CAN YOU HEAR ME" conversation.
probboy

join:2008-01-10
Natick, MA
said by thevorpal1:

Well, what would happen if everyone on the plane decided to stream video? The real question here should be what sort of restriction on the packets we use on the aircraft, not the services that generate them. A reasonable restriction would be to give us a service-agnostic limit to follow.
Why is it OK for American Airlines to throttle your connection or implement caps but it's not OK for Comcast, AT&T, et al? I'm paying for the service, I should be able to use it for whatever I want. It's my god-given right. What if I want to download 3TBs of Linux distros on my cross-country flight, or stream Netflix, or...

All the above was written in jest.

person300

@comcast.net

Re: Learn To Behave

said by probboy:

said by thevorpal1:

Well, what would happen if everyone on the plane decided to stream video? The real question here should be what sort of restriction on the packets we use on the aircraft, not the services that generate them. A reasonable restriction would be to give us a service-agnostic limit to follow.
Why is it OK for American Airlines to throttle your connection or implement caps but it's not OK for Comcast, AT&T, et al? I'm paying for the service, I should be able to use it for whatever I want. It's my god-given right. What if I want to download 3TBs of Linux distros on my cross-country flight, or stream Netflix, or...

All the above was written in jest.
Very different. People talking loudly over the phone are annoying on a plane. You are sharing space on a plane. You are not in your home and therefore must take in mind other people's attitudes about your actions. If this service is in your own home then yes, it is intolerable and an outrage that the service provider would block it. The feature as explained in the article is blocked to prevent excessive noise and annoyance to other customers who share the flight. In your own home you do not have to care or be concerned about what others think of you loudly talking on a phone. THAT is the difference. Just like if you rent an apartment and share it with others college friends, you usually have to set some basic rules that everyone must follow. AKA, clean up after yourself. If it is your own home you can throw the soda and food crumbs all over the floor if you like.

Maynard G Krebs

@teksavvy.com

Re: Learn To Behave

said by person300 :

said by probboy:

said by thevorpal1:

Well, what would happen if everyone on the plane decided to stream video? The real question here should be what sort of restriction on the packets we use on the aircraft, not the services that generate them. ......

Why is it OK for American Airlines to throttle your connection or implement caps but it's not OK for Comcast, AT&T, et al? I'm paying for the service, I should be able to use it for whatever I want. ......

Very different. People talking loudly over the phone are annoying on a plane. You are sharing space on a plane. You are not in your home and therefore must take in mind other people's attitudes about your actions. ......
It's absolutely no different than sitting in a food court under a tall office building or at the local mall where *everyone* is talking on a cellphone while choking down a burger and fries. The fact that you're traveling at 1000 Kph while talking has nothing to do with it.

The airlines have turned the aircraft into a flying food court already, nickel and dime-ing you for food, snacks, and beverages - so why shouldn't we treat it as such and talk while we fly?

The airlines are only going to block VOIP to preserve what little revenue stream they get from the phones they've mounted on seatbacks. Nobody complains when you use those phones.

person300

@comcast.net

Re: Learn To Behave

said by Maynard G Krebs :

It's absolutely no different than sitting in a food court under a tall office building or at the local mall where *everyone* is talking on a cellphone while choking down a burger and fries. The fact that you're traveling at 1000 Kph while talking has nothing to do with it.

The airlines have turned the aircraft into a flying food court already, nickel and dime-ing you for food, snacks, and beverages - so why shouldn't we treat it as such and talk while we fly?

The airlines are only going to block VOIP to preserve what little revenue stream they get from the phones they've mounted on seatbacks. Nobody complains when you use those phones.
Well, I have not seeing much eating and extreme chatting on a plane usually. Do not know what airline you use. I also do not know if you have traveled on long flights over 10 hrs. When I went to Hawaii on late flight I enjoyed getting some sleep during the night but I guess that is abnormal and I should want loud chatter on the flight to not let me get some shut eye. It is just a courteous thing to do and have on a plane, especially on long flights. Next you will be telling me to get my own plane to enjoy some quiet. Most people can't afford that sorry. There is also no need to be chatting on a phone on a plane. If you need to contact someone about a detail use the web service and send them an e-mail and help preserve the quiet.

aciddrink

join:2000-08-26
said by Maynard G Krebs :

It's absolutely no different than sitting in a food court under a tall office building or at the local mall where *everyone* is talking on a cellphone while choking down a burger and fries. The fact that you're traveling at 1000 Kph while talking has nothing to do with it.
I completely disagree with your statement here. It is absolutely different than sitting in a food court. In a food court if you don't appreciate the person next to you talking loudly into their phone, get up and move. In an airplane if you don't like the person next to you talking on their phone... tough shit you're stuck for 7 more hours. I fly from Hawaii to the mainland several times per year, a long flight next to a loud person is just torture. Whether it be snoring, crying, coughing, sneezing, or loud conversations...its simply annoying.

insomniac84

join:2002-01-03
Schererville, IN
This service will not die. First it's 12 bucks a flight. Second the flight attendant can tell you to stop and if you refuse, you can get into serious legal trouble.
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

Re: Learn To Behave

I'm waiting for the first emergency landing and SWAT storming due to someone getting personal about their phone call.

pepe352865104

@northwestern.edu
Do you *really* think this is a practical thing to have to add to the flight attendant's plate? They have bad enough time as it stands now with unruly passengers who think they are god's gift. People don't *need* to be able to talk on the phone while flying. It's a luxury, not a necessity.

-Pedro

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
said by pnh102:

quote:
Andy Abramson discusses how he was able to use Phweet, a flash audio based VoIP service, to talk to Stern for free while she was airborne despite the restrictions.
The quickest way to kill a service like this is to abuse it by not following the rules. What is going to happen when everyone decides to use VOIP on a plane?
I agree. A service is provided and the 1st thing they do is try and break all the rules and then tell everyone how to do it. They should have confiscated her laptop until the plane landed.
--
My BLOG .. .. Internet News .. .. My Web Page
Ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya punk?

NetAdmin1
CCNA

join:2008-05-22

Re: Learn To Behave

said by FFH:

I agree. A service is provided and the 1st thing they do is try and break all the rules and then tell everyone how to do it. They should have confiscated her laptop until the plane landed.
No, they should have made her sit in the bathroom.
--
---
Eleven years of carrying The Clue Bat...
patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1

Re: Learn To Behave

Why not just make a soundproof phone booth on board?

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Re: Learn To Behave

said by patcat88:

Why not just make a soundproof phone booth on board?
Airlines make money off of full seats, not on empty space that does not generate revenue. Such a space would most likely require the removal of seats that generate money when they are filled.

And again, no one who flies on a commercial plane as a passenger is important enough to merit needing the ability to use a phone during flight. If they were, they would be able to afford their own private air travel which would enable them to have this luxury.
--
"At the moment of conception."

44402812
Hack The Planet
Premium
join:2006-08-28
Plattsburgh, NY

1 recommendation

Get a life lady

Good article but she is a loser! Wonder if she has cybersex with her laptop, lol

PhoenixDown
FIOS is Awesome
Premium
join:2003-06-08
Fresh Meadows, NY
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

I don't fly often but...

Flying between NY and CA, a good book and a fully charged ipod seem to be all I need.

I recently flew Virgin and bought a movie on demand for $8 - that was well worth it.

A big a net addict as I am, I think those are plenty of options.
--
»[request] Left Align the Forum Column
BlakePaulson

join:2008-08-06
Alexandria, MN

Re: I don't fly often but...

Just fly AirTran and listen to XM. It might take you 3 planes to get to your destination but at least you don't have to worry about your source of music during the flights.

MrMaster
jetsetter
Premium
join:2000-12-16
St Thomas, VI

Re: I don't fly often but...

said by BlakePaulson:

Just fly AirTran and listen to XM. It might take you 3 planes to get to your destination but at least you don't have to worry about your source of music during the flights.
XM sucks.
--
One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done. -Marie Curie
fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Re: I don't fly often but...

said by MrMaster:

said by BlakePaulson:

Just fly AirTran and listen to XM. It might take you 3 planes to get to your destination but at least you don't have to worry about your source of music during the flights.
XM sucks.
Very insightful... When you get your satellite or digital music service up and running, please let us know so we can get it and then rip it apart too. Thanks.

MysticGogeta
The Robot Devil
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Katy, TX
Good troll

MrMaster
jetsetter
Premium
join:2000-12-16
St Thomas, VI

Re: I don't fly often but...

said by MysticGogeta:

Good troll
Thanks!

My RoadXT never gets good reception for me or my dad so that was a wasted 6 month christmas gift to him.

Not a good selection of music for my tastes to begin with

Only can listen to MLB on their XM radios NOT OVER THE INTERNET!

Radio stations over the internet are what 64k? Sounds awful.

Didn't know saying please cancel my service 10 different times doesn't really mean cancel my service.

or calling when they still charge you after canceling your service and your can't here the guy on the other end cause everyone is having a party behind him!

Who needs inflight entertainment? Ipod works great. I'd say laptop too but it was just too uncomfortable trying to use a laptop on those canadair jets.

So no troll here. Should have just posted my complaints earlier but I just hope they go bankrupt from terrible customer service. They don't deserve to be in business.

NetAdmin1
CCNA

join:2008-05-22

Re: I don't fly often but...

said by MrMaster:

Only can listen to MLB on their XM radios NOT OVER THE INTERNET!
To be fair here, that isn't XMs fault, that's the MLB doing that. Sirius has the same problem with some of its channels - the content providers stipulate that the channel can only be listened to by people with physical devices.
--
---
Eleven years of carrying The Clue Bat...

NetAdmin1
CCNA

join:2008-05-22
said by MrMaster:

XM sucks.
Compared to nothing, it is much better. Seriously, some airlines give you NOTHING in terms of in-flight entertainment.
--
---
Eleven years of carrying The Clue Bat...
satellite68

join:2007-04-11
Louisville, KY

1 recommendation

Dude, WTF?

quote:
10:50 p.m.: I have also been chatting with AirCell CEO Jack Blumenstein on Skype for most of the flight. As for the the restriction on VoIP he says, “Fundamentally it is a reaction to widespread passenger aversion to the idea of many people talking loudly on flights (as we’ve all often experienced before take-off or while landing).”

I couldn’t agree more. I was getting stares right and left in the 5 minutes I was talking to Andy and I don’t blame the passengers of American Airlines at all. Granted I was talking really loudly without a headset, but loud talkers on a plane (and in general) are annoying. The poor girl next to me was trying to sleep. Other than the call, I haven’t bothered her once. Though, she thinks I am a total geek.
So, she's annoyed by her own behavior?

NetAdmin1
CCNA

join:2008-05-22

Re: Dude, WTF?

Exactly, the woman is annoying herself and knows that she is annoying other people and yet she persisted in the source of that annoyance. Certainly says a lot about her. I bet she's one of the people that holds conversations during movies.
--
---
Eleven years of carrying The Clue Bat...

maartena
Elmo
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Orange, CA
kudos:3

Nice!

I'd be happy with about 128kbit/s a person, I would use it only to so some webbrowsing and e-mail, not to download massive files.

I would also have no problems with content filtering. Regardless of whether you should or should not, it is not uncommon when you are bored, and browse the internet for say funny pictures or so, to get to a site with a BIG AD for some adult related service.

And I have absolutely no problems with VOIP blocking. I take overnight flights to europe on occasion, and TRY to get some sleep.... and the last thing I need is some twit chatting it up with whomever she is traveling to in Europe because they are up already anyways over there.

But to me, that is just common sense and courtesy, something that a lot of people with cell phones don't seem to have anymore.... (like just keeping your cell phone on your ear when checking out at the grocery store).
--
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both" -
Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father.

IowaMan
Premium
join:2008-08-21
Grinnell, IA

Re: Nice!

Very Interesting Article, I wonder how long it will take before the technology is in all plaines? So I can take my Laptop on the plain and actually use the Internet when I go to Hawai

••••
theeinstein
Premium
join:2003-07-31
Fernandina Beach, FL

Moderator

Who is the freaking moderator here? I seem to be getting harassed about having an opinion. I would appreciate to know the moderator that is harassing me!

Jim Kirk
Premium
join:2005-12-09

Re: Moderator

TK Junkmail