The Boston Globe nails Massport to the wall in a fair way: Massport wants full control of unlicensed network usage in Boston-Logan airport. Opponents originally included airlines that wanted to run their own Wi-Fi networks, and now include the cellular operator trade group, the CTIA, an enormous hospital operating company in Massachusetts, the Air Transport Association (airline trade group), and the Consumer Electronics Association.
The FCC has been reviewing the issue since July, the article notes. The FCC has repeatedly stated in previous orders or rulings that only the FCC has the ability to regulate the unlicensed spectrum. Massport continues to claim that interference could impair operations--and admitted in this article, it would impair profits, too. It might violate their contract with their provider, as well, as that provider that built the Wi-Fi network is almost assuredly promised exclusive Wi-Fi rights given the massive monthly payments they are required to make to Massport.
Unmentioned here, but noted in other articles, is that Massport should be using the tightly regulated 4.9 GHz band not 2.4 GHz. The 4.9 GHz band has some problems with density and obstructions when trying to cover a municipality--though those are problems that can be solved--but an airport authority should be using a licensed swath that's reserved for anything that's key to operations.
The Massport attorney is quoted stating that the issue is about the rights to place antennas, which is a new argument to me. The attorney claims that Congress didn't grant unimpaired rights for Wi-Fi antennas, only what's referred to as "wireless video." This refers to the right of tenants to place satellite video antennas on buildings--the right was established to ensure that wired cable operators didn't have a monopoly on television service to apartments, coops, and condos that signed side deals with them.
The issue of interference is raised, too, which is a silly thing. Interference is a guarantee in this band. Telling the FCC that other Wi-Fi devices will interfere with Massport's vendor's equipment is a non-starter. They're all operating under Part 15 and as long as the devices are legally certified and within operational parameters, interference in an unlicensed band is just the way it is.