If you’re Continental Airlines, providing your customers with free wireless internet access at Boston’s Logan airport could apparently “pose an unacceptable potential risk” to communications gear used by security personnel. This story got some long legs yesterday when the Associated Press, among others, wrote about Logan’s attempt to terminate Continental’s free WiFi node, which is in direct competition to the airport’s $7.95/day service.
According to the AP, Continental’s lounge at Logan has been wireless-ready since June 2004, but it took Logan officials more than 12 months to notify the airline in writing that the antenna for said service “violated the terms of its lease.” Conveniently enough, Massport, the agency responsible for the airport’s operation, then apparently told the airline it could route its wireless signals over Logan’s own WiFi signal. This, of course, could be done at a “very reasonable rate structure.” The FCC is unlikely to rule on the matter before Aug. 29, the deadline for accepting public comments on Continental’s complaint.
At least the article goes on to quote someone willing to call Massport’s bluff. “It’s hard to imagine how this is a security threat,” an industry consultant says. “They clearly don’t want the competition.”