Google’s Mile High Christmas Present

Google’s Mile High Christmas Present

Perhaps Santa’s sleigh can tether to Google’s free sky-high Internet this holiday season. It might really help bolster his current methods of geo-locating chimneys. For the second year in a row Google will provide free Wi-Fi to passengers on AirTran, Delta and Virgin America Flights through the existing GoGo Inflight Internet service, allowing busy travelers to stay connected at 30,000 feet in the air.

Dates include domestic travel between November 20, 2010 and January 2, 2011. Google commented that this promotion will bring free Internet service to more than 700 planes and approximately 15 million passengers over the holidays.

“We are constantly working to help provide a better web experience to users around the world,” said Sundar Pichai, Vice President of Product Management at Google. “Whether it be building a better browser with Chrome or bringing free Wi-Fi to air travelers this holiday season, we are constantly innovating to ensure users’ access to the web is fast, simple and seamless.”

Last year, Google teamed up with Virgin America and over 50 airports to provide free Internet both on the ground and in the air. Virgin America is the most tech-savvy airline I’ve ever flown with amentities that include touch-screen entertainment, the now infamous seat-to-seat chat feature (spawning mid-air flirtations) and power outlets and USB plugs under every seat.

When I was last flying Virgin I measured that GoGo’s InFlight service provides download speeds for each aircraft of up to 3.1 MBp/s per sector, (similar to what you’d get at the office or home). The service usually costs $12.95 per flight or $34.95 for unlimited monthly use so Thank you and Happy Christmas to you too Google!

Similarly Skype recently offered free wifi at hotspots across the UK to celebrate this week’s Internet Week EU.

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