While the majority of the in-flight broadband market is currently dominated by GoGo
, Jet Blue says they'll soon be offering users completely free Wi-Fi on their flights. The Verge
has obtained a leaked internal memo showing that Jet Blue will be partnering with ViaSat on in-flight free Wi-Fi services sometime in the first quarter of 2013. There's no speed or other details being unveiled just yet, though the memo to employees insists that the service will be substantially faster than an un-named competitor (aka GoGo):
Our Wi-Fi will be lightning fast. In a series of tests, ViaSats staff was able to load 10 web pages through our satellite service in an average of 1 minute, 18 seconds! The second-fastest service, commonly deployed by our competitors, took as long as 8 minutes, 42 seconds! Customers are going to know that JetBlues Wi-Fi is faster word will definitely get around.
The memo hints at some waffling on the "free" part of the equation, suggesting that service will remain free "at least until the first 30 aircraft are equipped with our service." The leak comes just as a survey indicates that while 80% like the idea of in-flight Wi-Fi, just under half
of those asked would only use the service if it was free. 27% say they'd be willing to pay if the fee was $5 or less.