Continental Airlines turns to its prestigious membership: The Presidents Club comprises Continental Airlines flyers willing to pony up hundreds of dollars a year or piles of frequent flyer milers (more likely for heavy-mileage business travelers) to have a quiet, comfortable place to sit. Continental is offering these desirable folk free Wi-Fi in contrast to several other airlines which provide T-Mobile service at a fee for members.
Continental sent around email to this group, which probably includes some relatively influential sorts and at least businesspeople with interest in retaining a critical amenity, asking them to comment on the Boston-Logan conflict. Massport wants Continental's signal off to avoid a contractual conflict with its designated Wi-Fi provider from whom Continental can purchase service. Continental believes FCC regulations and statements restrict the usage of unlicensed spectrum strictly to the FCC.
Continental states this pretty fairly: We believe Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations give us the right to provide our own seamless service, which is free, and do not require you or us to pay fees to Massport's vendor to have wireless Internet access in our Presidents Clubs.
Of course, the free part is less relevant: Continental could pay for service and offer it for free. The principle here is whether individual landlords and municipal authorities have the right to restrict use of unlicensed spectrum. The FCC has said no before; Massport is working hard to find reasons to get around that "no," such as invoking security and interference.