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Comments to the Federal Communications Commission in the matter of Expanding Access to Mobile Wireless Services Onboard Aircraft

Regulatory Comments and Testimony

Title

Comments to the Federal Communications Commission in the matter of Expanding Access to Mobile Wireless Services Onboard Aircraft

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Executive Summary

On behalf of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (“CEI”), we respectfully submit these comments in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s notice of proposed rulemaking in the matter of Expanding Access to Mobile Wireless Services Onboard Aircraft (“NPRM”). CEI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest organization that focuses on regulatory policy from a market-oriented perspective.

We applaud the Commission’s efforts to update its 1991 rule prohibiting many in-flight cellular transmissions. We agree with the Commission that technological innovation has rendered this rule obsolete, and support revising it to reflect the realities of the modern wireless marketplace.

Our comments address the proposed licensing framework and how it might affect existing licensees that operate terrestrial wireless networks. We also address the public safety and national security implications of the proposed rule.