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Coming to Virgin America: Even Faster Inflight Wi-Fi

This week, Virgin America announced yet another upgrade that will take its inflight Wi-Fi to the next level. Streaming video at 35,000 feet, anyone?

Of all U.S. airlines, Virgin America has been the most aggressive in outfitting its planes with inflight Wi-Fi. No surprise there: Leading edge inflight entertainment is a cornerstone of Virgin America’s brand.

The airline was first among U.S. carriers to offer Wi-Fi throughout its entire fleet, in 2009. By the end of 2014, Virgin America had upgraded its planes to Gogo’s ATG-4 Wi-Fi, boasting speeds of up to 9.8 Mbps. And this week, Virgin America announced yet another upgrade that will take its inflight Wi-Fi to the next level.

Beginning in September, the airline’s next 10 Airbus A320 deliveries will feature Ka-band satellite WiFi, from ViaSat. According to Virgin America, the new service will support download speeds of up to 140 gigabits-per-second, significantly faster than any current inflight Wi-Fi system and more than adequate to stream online video.

At least until early 2016, when prices for the new service will be introduced, Wi-Fi access on ViaSat-equipped planes will be offered for free.

Reader Reality Check

How important is fast, dependable inflight Wi-Fi access to you?

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This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

By Tim Winship

After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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