Qantas domestic flights to get free inflight Wi-Fi fast enough for Netflix from 2017
Qantas' domestic fleet will be retrofitted with inflight Wi-Fi, providing passengers with high speed internet connections said to be fast enough to stream videos through services such as Netflix. The technology will be trialled with a single Boeing 737 late this year, with a full deployment scheduled to commence in early 2017.
Qantas is expecting inflight Wi-Fi to provide speeds of up to 20Mbps per person.
"This service will give Qantas customers download speeds in the air similar to what they’re used to on the ground," said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce. "You won't be limited to checking your email or Facebook – it’s going to be about watching the football live, streaming your favourite TV show or movie, catching up on the latest YouTube videos, or shopping online."
Notably, Qantas won't charge passengers for access to its inflight Wi-Fi.
Qantas is partnering with broadband service provider ViaSat for the rollout. Planes will have connectivity to NBN's recently launched satellite and to ground stations across Australia. In addition, the airline is examining options for bringing inflight Wi-Fi to its regional and international flights.