Boeing Grounds Connexion

    August 18, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The Connexion By Boeing in-flight broadband Internet service will come to an end, as the satellite-based system never really took off with airline carriers.

Cellular technology represented a cheaper way to accomplish what Boeing wanted to do with Connexion. Thus the airline maker will shut down Connexion, the BBC reported while noting Boeing will take a $320 million hit as one-time charges to its financials.

The service has been a money-loser as it could not compete with cellular networks on price. Besides airlines, Connexion’s shut down will also affect Teekay Shipping, whose cargo ships use the service.

The shutdown also means one less partnership for Yahoo. In July 2005, Yahoo and Boeing inked a deal that would make Yahoo the exclusive search engine for the Connexion portal. That did not debut for Connexion users until January 2006.

Last August, Intel announced it would help promote and enhance the Connexion service through Intel’s Wireless Verification Program.

The biggest problem for Connexion and Boeing came from US regulators. Although Connexion could be offered on international flights, domestic flights in the US were forbidden to use Connexion. The company had expressed confidence in July 2005 that it could overcome what Connexion president Laurette Koellner called “regulatory issues and the social issues” facing the service.

Snakes on a plane, man.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.