Aerospace giant Boeing has been granted the first license approved by the Federal Communications Commission to install in-flight broadband facikities on its planes.

The satellite-based service – initially available only on flights passing over US territory – will allow passengers on commercial and private aircraft access to the web, email, television and other multimedia delights. Special connections will be built into planes by the group’s Connexion unit.

The system will initially be tested on Lufthansa flights late next year or early in 2003. A joint venture with American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Airlines to develop the service fell apart in November.

A major benefit of the system is expected to be its ability to accurately target marketing.

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