June 3, 2013

FCC Proposes New Air-Ground Mobile Broadband Service for Airplane Passengers

Arnold & Porter Advisory

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice) requesting comments on its proposal to expand the availability of in-flight Wi-Fi to airplane passengers traveling in the contiguous U.S. The FCC proposes to create an air-ground mobile broadband service operating on a secondary, non-interference basis with Fixed-Satellite Service Earth-to-space communications in the 14.0-14.5 GHz band. The proposed service would allow travelers to connect wirelessly to a full range of communications services while flying over the contiguous U.S. In 2011, Qualcomm proposed an air-ground mobile broadband system similar to that proposed in the Notice.

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