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Air passengers could soon benefit from faster internet under new plans revealed by Ofcom.

The communications regulator is considering the introduction of high-speed broadband on flights, which is 10 times faster than the speed currently available. If the proposals go ahead as planned, operators at airports in the UK, including the likes of Stansted and Luton, would be able to use the technology from early next year. Ofcom believes business users and holidaymakers who want to stay connected while travelling would benefit from the move.

Long-haul operators in the country are not expected to take part in the consultation process, although they may use the technology if demand warrants it. The regulator cites “increasing interest” in broadband use on moving vehicles as a reason for the proposals. In the document, called Earth Stations on Mobile Platforms, Ofcom also outlines intentions to introduce high-speed Wi-Fi on ships and trains.

Virgin has welcomed the move to significantly increase browsing speeds on planes, claiming it is all for any development "to enhance customer experience”. A spokesman for the airline added: “Our current focus is a Wi-Fi trial across some of our long-haul flights, which we hope to roll out more widely next year.”

Copyright Press Association 2013