National Academies Press: OpenBook
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Suggested Citation:"VII. CONCLUSION." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Legal Considerations for Telecommunications at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26366.
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Page 31
Suggested Citation:"VII. CONCLUSION." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Legal Considerations for Telecommunications at Airports. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26366.
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32 ACRP LRD 43 APPENDIX – DEFINITIONS AeroMACS – is based on IEEE 802.16-2009 and is designed to improve aviation safety communications between Air Traffic Control and airline operations. Airport may also deploy systems using AeroMACS technology. AeroMACS standard is main- tained and certified by WiMAX Forum. The FAA, International Civil Aviation Organization and Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics support AeroMACS. Backhaul – connects service locations with the network pro- viders facility. Backhaul occurs over broadband cable or wireless point-to-point networks. Bandwidth – is the range of frequencies within a band that represents the transmission capacity of a communication system. Broadband – transmission of wide bandwidth data over a high- speed Internet connection. Broadband is measured by the maxi- mum amount of data transmitted over an Internet connection in a given time. The FCC defines broadband Internet as a mini- mum of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds. Common Carrier – any person engaged as a common carrier for hire, in interstate or foreign communication by wire or radio or interstate radio transmission of energy, except where refer- ence is made to common carriers not subject to this chapter; but a person engaged in radio broadcasting shall not, insofar as such person is so engaged, be deemed a common carrier. 47 U.S.C. § 153(11) Distributed Antenna System (DAS) – is a network of spatially separated, low power antenna nodes connected to a common source that provides wireless service within a specific area. Effective Radiated Power (ERP) – directional radio frequency power emitted by a radio transmitter measured in watts. 47 C.F.R. § 90.7, Equivalent Isotropically Radiated Power (EIRP) – the prod- uct of the power supplied to the antenna and the antenna gain in a given direction relative to an isotropic antenna. 47 C.F.R. § 15.503. Information Service – offering of a capability for generating, acquiring, storing, transforming, processing, retrieving, utiliz- ing, or making available information via telecommunications, and includes electronic publishing, but does not include any use of any such capability for the management, control, or opera- tion of a telecommunications system or the management of a telecommunications service. 47 U.S.C. § 153(24). Interconnection – Direct or indirect connection through auto- matic or manual means (by wire, microwave, or other technolo- gies such as store and forward) to permit the transmission or standards in its SLAs. Accordingly, airport operators must con- sider the poten tial liabilities they may incur via network access agreements in circumstances where tenants or travelers pay to access their networks or receive unpaid network access. VII. CONCLUSION Telecommunications law and practice is changing quickly with advancing technology capabilities and consumers’ cor- responding increases in demands for bandwidth. The FCC, FAA, and FTC may continue to adapt their rules and policies to manage spectrum, ensure safe and efficient use of navigable airspace, and protect consumers respectively. Airport opera- tors must monitor the actions of these agencies to ensure their legal strategies and policies comply with the changing rules and regulations. Telecommunications in an airport environment creates many direct and indirect legal issues for airport operators. As discussed herein, airports must consider these issues to ensure that they comply with federal law, that they position their air- ports for successful telecommunication deployments, and that they benefit from revenue-generating opportunities.

ACRP LRD 43 31 E. Spectrum Management Airports may choose to play an active role in managing spectrum usage within their facilities for wireless, cellular, and PLMR systems. Airports that want to control tenant relations and access to their property, have concerns with multiple sys- tems being deployed, and want to provide high quality cellular and wireless connectivity to their tenants and passengers may take a more active role. ese airports must ensure their spec- trum management practices do not impermissibly prevent ac- cess to service providers or prevent or unreasonably delay the deployment of small antenna capabilities. Other airports let their tenants deploy and manage their own wireless capabilities based on operational needs. F. Emergency Response Considerations A multitude of emergency situations can occur within the various areas of an airport’s property that will require connec- tivity for a diverse set of stakeholders. e airport must ensure their operational, rst responders, law enforcement, and secu- rity teams have quality and stable communications streams. First responders may also come from o-airport with a need to link into the telecommunication system or to use their own equipment and interoperate with airport systems. Finally, other government agencies or the press may come to the airport for events and require access to networks or simply create added congestion to airport networks. Airports must therefore evalu- ate the capabilities they have in place and plan resources accord- ing to their needs. Planning for telecommunications service during events and incidents is a critical function in overall air- port emergency management. G. Network Security Providing an open wireless network creates cybersecurity vulnerabilities for all users, including the airport, its tenants, and the traveling public. Malicious actors can intercept data sent on an open network and can install viruses onto devices con- nected to an open network. Airports must consider their obliga- tions to protect these users. Additionally, the network provider may be liable for civil damages if it does not meet the security enforceable.”278 Additionally, the SLA claries expectations of all parties, and drives equipment selection and network archi- tecture for network management.279 ACRP Report 127 provides helpful SLA considerations, such as the SLA elements listed in Figure 4.280 Eective SLAs will assist the airport operator in managing interactions with service providers and airlines, ten- ants, or passenger users. Airports that take a larger interest in Internet and cellular net- work delivery, as either an intermediary or a revenue-generating interest, should consider using a master SLA as a policy docu- ment. In these cases, the master SLA can play a broader role than discussed in ACRP Report 127, where the SLA operates as the core component of the network providers contract.281 As a policy document, the master SLA can consider multiple network deployments, to include both cellular and Internet, drive contracts with network providers, guide airport decision- making as a network user and as a provider. e document will assist in network management decisions and investments in equipment and other network capabilities. Airports should regularly review and update their SLAs and master SLA to adjust for technology changes and improve qual- ity and reliability.282 Technology enhancements, new use cases, and network management challenges that develop can all be ad- dressed in SLA updates. Telecommunication providers will oen have blanket con- tracts that they use when dealing with large businesses. Alter- nately, some providers may already have agreements in place with state or local governments that the airport will leverage for services. Airports should consider whether these blanket terms will ensure adequate bandwidth and coverage for the planned projects. If the projects involve third parties receiving broad- band access, the airports should negotiate SLA terms to meet the expectations of the third parties that will receive the service. Similarly, the airport should not guarantee any service to a third party that is not covered under the service provider SLA. New revenue strategies may require airports to alter or fore- go their typical SLA practices. For example, Google’s Orion, as discussed in Chapter II, does not require that sellers or buyers agree to SLA terms. Google has tried to create an easy-to-access platform that lowers barriers to entry to reduce the complexity of the interaction between the seller and buyer. Google uses data provided by the seller, sensors, and readings from the buyer’s connection to assess the seller’s ability to provide adequate ser- vice at that time of a requested purchase. Google will then sell the service to the buyer at the price set by the seller. 278 Id. 279 Id. at 29-30. 280 Id. at 30. 281 Id. at 29-30 and 45-46 (ACRP Report 127 only discusses Wi-Fi, this discussion extends more broadly to SLA in terms of Internet and cellular services.) 282 Id. at 29. • Coverage • Capacity • Currency • Equipment quality • Security • Irregular operations support • Active and periodic performance testing • Reporting to airport management • Cooperative interference mitigation • Emergency management • Revenue sharing Figure 4: ACRP Report 127 – SLA Elements

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The deployment of telecommunication systems, management of networks, and dealings with telecommunication or information service providers, airlines, other tenants, concessionaires, and passengers create multiple legal issues for airport operators.

The Airport Cooperative Highway Research Program's ACRP Legal Research Digest 43: Legal Considerations for Telecommunications at Airports examines federal requirements for various aspects of telecommunications at airports, including both current issues and those implicated by emerging trends.

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