Southwest claims broadband first

Southwest Airlines is to be
the first US carrier to test satellite-delivered broadband Internet access
on multiple aircraft. With this innovation, Southwest Customers with a
wi-fi enabled device will have full access to the Internet including
e-mail, music, shopping, and virtual private networks (VPN) via a
high-speed connection. Southwest Airlines is partnering with Southern
California-based Row 44 and hopes to begin testing Internet capabilities on
four aircraft this summer.

  “Southwest Airlines is pleased to announce its partnership with Row 44,
and we intend to deliver the highest bandwidth available to commercial
airlines in the United States,” said Dave Ridley, Southwest Airlines’
Senior Vice President of Marketing. “Southwest’s selection of satellite
technology will offer a more robust experience for more Customers per
aircraft versus other solutions available in the marketplace.”

  “Southwest is looking for the best solution for our Customers not only
for Internet e-mail access, but for additional inflight entertainment as
well,” Ridley said. “We look forward to exploring this cutting-edge
technology with Row 44 and hope this will keep our Customers productive and
entertained inflight.”

  “We’re excited to partner with Southwest Airlines to keep passengers
informed, in touch, and entertained,” said Gregg Fialcowitz, President of
Row 44. “This service will set the standard for excellence in inflight