TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: FCC Backs Airline's Free Wi-Fi at Logan International Airport

FCC Backs Airline's Free Wi-Fi at Logan International Airport

Jeremy Pelofsky (
Wed, 01 Nov 2006 14:13:03 -0600

By Jeremy Pelofsky

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Continental Airlines won a battle to offer
high-speed Internet service in its frequent flier club at Boston Logan
International Airport, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission
ruled on Wednesday.

The FCC ruled against the Massachusetts Port Authority, or Massport,
which ordered airlines in 2005 to unplug their wireless and wireline
high-speed Internet services in their lounges and instead use the
airport's fee-based system.

"Today's decision ensures that the Wi-Fi bands remain free and open to
travellers, who can make productive use of their time while waiting to
catch their next flight in an airport," FCC Commissioner Michael Copps
said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for MassPort was not immediately available for comment.

Massport argued that Continental's free service would interfere with
its network, raise safety concerns and violate lease
agreements. Continental appealed to the FCC.

The airline was backed by the industry, wireless providers and cargo
shippers like United Parcel Service.

The FCC agreed in its ruling that the agency's Over-the-Air Reception
Devices regulations allowed airlines to offer the Wi-Fi service.

Wireless communications provider T-Mobile USA withdrew its service
from American Airlines' lounge at Boston airport in response to
Massport's objections.

Copyright Reuters 2006.

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