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Qantas Set To Test Free Onboard NBN Domestic Service

Qantas has confirmed that it plans to begin testing an NBN-based satellite service onboard some of its domestic aircraft at the start of February. The test will run for nine months, the airline said.

The news comes almost a year after Qantas first said it plans to use the NBN’s Sky Muster satellites to offer free Wi-Fi on planes, using ViaSat technology to link its aircraft with satellite and ground stations.

It started testing the service last year on a Boeing 747, and will now start trialling on Boeing 737s and A330 Airbuses.

According to a test agreement published by NBN Co, the product will be delivered via a layer 3 VPN connection over satellite, with NBN Co handling the connection between the air network interface and a mobility network interface (M-NNI) at its point of interconnect.

Qantas says network speeds for the trial will be limited to 20Mbps per aircraft, and connections will be available only for specific flight corridors. The service will be available free to domestic passengers

According to CEO Alan Joyce, users “won’t be limited to checking your e-mail or Facebook – it’s going to be about watching the football live, streaming your favourite TV show or movie, catching up on the latest YouTube videos, or shopping online.”

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