Broadband Takes Flight as Connexion Holds Videoconference

Connexion by Boeing
achieved another historic milestone this week when it linked passengers on a jetliner
37,000 feet above Arizona by videoconference with participants at The Boeing
Company`s annual Investors Conference at St. Louis.
 
For several minutes, conference participants and countless others
participating through a global webcast, got a sense of the power of
broadband as Connexion by Boeing President Scott Carson
and System Development
Director Ed Laase interacted through a live video feed, even though they were
separated horizontally by 1,000 miles, vertically by seven miles and by their
relative velocities: Carson stood still, while Laase sped through the
Southwestern U.S. sky aboard Connexion One, a Boeing 737-400 used for
research, test and demonstration.

 
“Broadband is taking flight,” Laase said, describing an array of
applications that become possible through the broadband capabilities of the
Connexion by Boeing(SM) service.  Among them:

   
- An office in the sky: Seamless, real-time communications, with the speed and quality characteristic of a modern office environment,
    including Internet access, audio, video, and e-mail and intranet
      access.

   
- Improved Airline Operations: Connexion by Boeing`s broadband transforms the airplane into another node on an airline`s
      global information network,
  - Data for critical decision-making.  With Connexion by Boeing`s broadband capability, a
      passenger who becomes ill during flight might be examined by a medical
      professional on the ground, helping distinguish, for example, between
      a heart attack and a case of heartburn, and providing guidance to the
      captain as to whether a flight diversion is necessary.

 
“All this adds up to increased operational value for the airlines and,
ultimately, for the passengers they serve,” Laase added.
As the videoconference was taking place, representatives from leading
airlines from four continents were participating in California with Boeing in
the latest in a series of Connexion Working Together conferences to help
define the service so that it meets the requirements of airlines worldwide.
 
Carson said the Connexion Working Together process, which involves
15 airlines, has allowed us to move forward with in a way that helps create a
value-added service the airlines want, and one that will enhance the passenger
experience.
 
Back in St. Louis, conference attendees were told, “What you saw was
broadband at work, and that`s what Connexion by Boeing is all about,” said
Carson.  “Broadband is here.  It`s going to be the service of choice.  And
we`re going to be there with the right service at the right time.”
 
The conference was the first public demonstration of true broadband
videoconferencing between an airplane and the ground using the established
Federal Communication Commission`s (FCC) broadband definition of an
information service.
Related stories on ITN:

(08/05/2002) FAA Certifies Connexion by Boeing

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(30/01/2002) Connexion by Boeing Awarded $112 Million Contract.

(28/12/2001) FCC Approves Broadband Data Transmision from Connexion by Boeng

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