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by Mike Zazaian November 2, 2006 - 12:46pm, No Comments

A skyway at Logan International Airport

After receiving stout opposition from Massachusetts Airport Authority, Continental Airlines got the okay from the FCC to provide free wireless internet to frequent fliers.

The Massachusetts Airport Authority, or Massport as it’s called, ordered airlines to unplug any WiFi services being provided in 2005. The effort was essentially a money grab designed to monopolize Boston’s Logan International Airport with its own pay-per-play internet service, which costs fliers as much as $10 for a single hour of use.

Continental shook things up last month when it asked permission to implement free WiFi service in its frequent flier lounges. Massport rallied against Continental, claiming that another network would interfere with its own, pose security risks, and violate its lease agreement with Logan International. The matter was put to vote by the five chairmen of the FCC, and returned with a ruling in favor of Continental this morning. Said FCC Commissioner Michael Copps:

Today’s decision ensures that the Wi-Fi bands remain free and open to travelers, who can make productive use of their time while waiting to catch their next flight in an airport.

Internet provider T-Mobile withdrew its network due to Massport’s demands in 2005. With the new FCC Over-the-Air Reception Devices regulations, T-Mobile and others will be able to re-implement wireless internet services, free or otherwise.

Via Reuters
Image courtesy of Back Bay Press