Delta to add faster satellite-based Wi-Fi on long-haul flights

New Delta Wi-Fi will have 20 times more bandwidth

Starting next year, passengers on Delta Air Lines’ long-haul domestic flights and routes to Latin America and the Caribbean will get to log on to a faster satellite-based wireless Internet.

The new system replaces an older air-to-ground system, giving passengers 20 times the bandwidth to stream movies, music and other entertainment.

The new system, built by Itasca, Ill.-based GoGo Inc., is expected to deliver peak speeds of 70 megabits per second, faster than some home cable Internet connections, according to GoGo.

Delta said some of the funding for the Wi-Fi upgrade comes from the record profits the airline has reported over the past several months, thanks to lower fuel prices.

Boosting Wi-Fi speeds makes good business sense. About 66% of travelers say the availability of Wi-Fi on a plane influences what airline they fly, according to a 2014 survey of more than 1,000 adults by Honeywell Aerospace.

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow me on Twitter at @hugomartin.

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