Boeing Signs With ScreamingMedia For In-Flight Web Access - InformationWeek

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Boeing Signs With ScreamingMedia For In-Flight Web Access

Boeing Co. on Monday moved one step closer to offering in-flight Internet access on commercial planes when it signed content aggregator ScreamingMedia Inc. to deliver customized news, weather, and entertainment through Boeing Connexion, the airplane manufacturer's broadband service company.

Boeing Connexion licensed ScreamingMedia's Siteware XE content-aggregation software for an undisclosed amount. ScreamingMedia will format and filter information from its content network, which consists of more than 3,000 publications, to Boeing Connexion's servers. Passengers will be able to access the Internet and ScreamingMedia's content via broadband on their notebook computers while in flight.

The market for broadband access on airplanes is still relatively small, but it's an initiative that commercial airlines are willing to invest in to provide better services for customers, says Eric Rasmussen, a senior consultant with Telechoice. "Airports are becoming a popular place for broadband connections to give passengers Internet access," he says. While Rasmussen doesn't believe streaming media on planes will become a "multibillion dollar market," he says airlines are sure to find business passengers or parents flying with small children who would pay for customized content while on a plane.

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