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AIRLINES to offer fast Internet connections to passengers


WASHINGTON (AP) _ Executives of American, Delta and United airlines said Wednesday they will offer high-speed Internet connections on some long-distance U.S. flights beginning in the summer of 2002.

The connections will cost around $20 an hour and offer e-mail, access to the Web, and live television broadcasts.

The airline executives said they hoped to eventually expand the service to most of their domestic and international flights. Passengers would have to bring their own laptop computers.

Special antennas on board the aircraft will connect with satellites to provide the Internet access.

The three airlines formed a partnership with the Boeing Co. to develop the system. They eventually plan to install the high-speed connections on 1,500 of their planes and sell the system to other airlines.

James Beer, American Airlines' vice president of corporate development, said passengers have asked for fast Internet connections while on board.

``They want to stay as productive in flight as they are in their offices,'' Beer said. ``Imagine conducting an entire e-mail marketing campaign from 39,000 feet.''

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