Sides Chosen in Logan WiFi Battle

Sides chosen in Logan WiFi battle Wireless and airport lobbies join dispute

By Peter Howe, Globe Staff | January 2, 2006

Logan International Airport officials' ongoing quest to ban airline lounges from offering passengers free WiFi Internet services is angering a growing array of powerful Capitol Hill lobbying groups, who say Logan could set a dangerous nationwide precedent for squelching wireless services.

Already under fire from the biggest airline lobby, the Air Transport Association, and the manufacturer-backed Consumer Electronics Association, Logan officials are also coming under new criticism from the top US wireless lobby, CTIA-The Wireless Association. All three groups are siding with Continental Airlines Inc., which has asked the Federal Communications Commission to overturn a Logan order last year shutting off Continental's WiFi service in its Presidents Club lounge in Logan's Terminal C.

Soon after activating its own $8-a-day WiFi service in the summer of

2004, the Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs Logan, ordered Continental and American Airlines to shut down WiFi services in their Logan lounges. Massport also ordered Delta Air Lines Inc. not to turn on a planned WiFi service in its new $500 million Terminal A that opened last March.

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Monty Solomon
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