The FCC has released a proposal that aims to provide faster and more stable Wi-Fi connections while in-flight. That's the good news. The bad news is the ambitious plan won't be ready until 2020, if all goes well.
If you’ve ever been on an airplane before or at least plan to be on one sometime in the future and always wished that the Wi-Fi speeds were faster (or that there was internet at all), you might be in luck. The FCC has released a report proposing new rules that would result in increased Wi-Fi speeds while in-flight. As of now, the airlines that do offer a wireless internet connection while in-flight often suffer from congestion when an already mediocre connection is being used by far too many people at once.
What this proposal aims to do is free up 500 megahertz of spectrum (in the 14-15GHz band) and create a better broadband service for airlines by increasing the speed as well as the reliability of the connection to the point where it would be competitive with broadband services we enjoy on the ground.
Unfortunately, as you’d expect, a lofty goal like this requires a significant amount of time. The FCC’s proposed date for this isn’t even until 2020. For the time being the FCC claims that work is already underway and the proposal is now open for public comment.
It should be said that this doesn’t mean airplanes won’t have quicker internet until then. Other companies are free to implement their own solutions, which companies like Gogo and ViaSat plan to do in the very near future. The best anyone can do for the time being is practice their patience, and look forward to being able to update your Facebook before the complimentary peanuts arrive.