At what orbit is the ISS?
I am curious to where you get the number 1.3 seconds from. I have tried fiddling a bit with it and with the speed of light being about 300 thousand kilometers per second that gives us a travel distance for the signal 390 thousand kilometers. Now that is the average distance between the earth and it's moon. Since the signal will have to go both ways we need to divide that number by two. So do you think that the ISS is orbiting at an altitude of half the distance to the moon?
To try answer Batfastad's question:
1. It is not a trivial thing to establish. Due to it's orbit it has to change downlink stations rapidly. Not something that is very common on the Internet. My guess is that all the traffic is routed by some other protocols from the ISS to a fixed location on earth where it has a bridge connection to the Internet. Not trivial, but not extremely hard either. Something they would have solved earlier if it hadn't been for point number two.
2. Why? There is nothing on Internet that is of any interest to an astronaut, and if it were; not something they would have to retrieve for themselves. If they need some information on something they have a big crew at mission control to fetch for them, and lets hope that crew has other sources than Wikipedia. So what about entertainment I hear you say. Well, if you need to be entertained while floating about in space you need to get yourself another job. Besides, it is not like they didn't have a datalink. I bet the guys at mission control could send them the latest episode of Doctor Who via some other means.
My guess is that they did this for PR reasons, and PR reasons only.
Mines the white body suit with a helmet.