Sides Chosen in Logan WiFi Battle

Capitol Hill lobbying groups say Logan officials' could set a dangerous nationwide precedent for squelching wireless services.

However, Gill also acknowledged that "installation of a WiFi antenna in Continental's Presidents Club would have a detrimental economic impact on Massport." Logan officials would have to "devote substantial resources to monitor the installation of antennas" by Continental and other airlines to make sure they wouldn't cause interference, Gill said, and "Massport would also lose revenue associated with the operation of the central WiFi antenna system at Logan."

Despite the fierce opposition, Massport has had backing from an airport authority trade group, Airports Council International-North America, and four other airport authorities.

Matthew C. Ames, an attorney for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which runs Dulles International Airport and Washington Reagan National Airport, where airport-controlled wireless networks are being installed, backed Massport's policy. Airports are too complex an environment, Ames said, to allow totally uncontrolled wireless services. "Allowing individual users free rein can make it impossible for others -- including the airport -- to operate effectively," Ames said in a recent letter to the FCC, adding: "Chaos is not a practical solution."


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