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WTB Extends Reply Comment Date for Wireless Services on Aircraft NPRM

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Released: March 10, 2014

PUBLIC NOTICE

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th St., S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

DA 14-327

Released: March 10, 2014

WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS BUREAU EXTENDS PERIOD TO FILE REPLY

COMMENTS ON PROPOSED RULES TO EXPAND ACCESS TO MOBILE WIRELESS

SERVICES ONBOARD AIRCRAFT

WT Docket No. 13-301

Reply Comment Date: May 16, 2014

By this Public Notice, we extend the deadline for filing reply comments in response to the Notice
of Proposed Rulemaking in the above-captioned proceeding to allow parties to more thoroughly address
the technical issues raised in the Notice and in the record.1 Interested parties now will have until May 16,
2014, to file reply comments.2
On February 28, 2014, AeroMobile Communications Limited (“AeroMobile”) and Panasonic
Avionics Corporation (“Panasonic”), jointly, and CTIA – The Wireless Association (“CTIA”) filed
requests to extend the reply comment deadline in response to the Notice by 60 days, to May 16, 2014.3
The Joint Motion and the CTIA Request contend that this extension is warranted for parties to properly
address the complicated technological, legal, and policy issues raised by the Notice and the initial
comments.4 The Joint Motion and the CTIA request also assert that the additional time will provide
various stakeholders – including AeroMobile, Panasonic, and CTIA – ample opportunity to consult with
each other on technical issues.5
Specifically, the Joint Motion states that more time is necessary for consultations regarding “the
technical studies and authorization regime supporting in-flight mobile communications in Europe and

1 Expanding Access to Mobile Wireless Services Onboard Aircraft, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 28 FCC Rcd
17132 (2013) (“Notice”).
2 The Notice sets forth a reply-comment date of 60 days after date of publication in the Federal Register. Id. The
Notice was published on January 15, 2014, and reply comments were originally due on March 17, 2014. See
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/01/15/2013-31203/expanding-access-to-mobile-wireless-services-
onboard-aircraft.
3 AeroMobile Communications Limited and Panasonic Avionics Corporation, Joint Motion for Extension of Time,
WT Docket No. 13-301 (filed Feb. 28, 2014) (“Joint Motion”); CTIA – The Wireless Association, Request for
Extension of Reply Comment Deadline, WT Docket No. 13-301 (filed Feb. 28, 2014) (“CTIA Request”).
4 See Joint Motion at 1; CTIA Request 1.
5 See Joint Motion at 1-2; CTIA Request 2.

elsewhere.”6 The Joint Motion also notes that an extension of time would “enable interested parties to
consider comments submitted in other proceedings, including the Department of Transportation Advance
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on voice services onboard aircraft.” 7
The CTIA Request similarly states that an extension is needed so that parties can “conduct much
needed interference and other technological analyses, consider other existing studies beyond those
discussed in the Notice, and follow up on questions and issues sparked by commenters who discussed the
inflight systems that have been deployed abroad.”8 The CTIA Request also notes the large number of
comments that have been filed in the docket, stating that “[t]he Commission should strive to ensure that
the record contains a meaningful opportunity to contribute input into this highly watched rulemaking.”9
It is the general policy of the Commission that extensions of time shall not be routinely granted.10
However, under these circumstances, we agree that an extension of time to file reply comments is
warranted to ensure that the Commission obtains a complete and thorough technical record in response to
the Notice. The Notice specifically sought comment on technological solutions that may enable
interference-free operation of wireless devices aboard airborne aircraft, and requested that commenters
provide technical analysis in support of their comments. We conclude that a short extension of time is
warranted to enable interested parties sufficient opportunity to review and respond to the complex
technical issues raised by the Notice. Accordingly, pursuant to Section 4(i) of the Communications Act
of 1934, as amended,11 and Section 1.46 of the Commission's rules,12 we extend the deadline for filing
reply comments until May 16, 2014.
For further information, please contact Amanda Huetinck of the Wireless Telecommunications
Bureau, Mobility Division, at (202) 418-7090 or Amanda.Huetinck@fcc.gov.
Action by the Chief, Mobility Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.
- FCC -

6 Joint Motion at 2.
7 Joint Motion at 2.
8 CTIA Request 2.
9 Id.
10 47 C.F.R. § 1.46(a).
11 47 U.S.C. § 154(i).
12 47 C.F.R. § 1.46.
2

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