It's time like these that I wish there were more hours in the day. Times like what, weary RWG? Why don't you just take those damn high heels off and start your weekend?
Well, for starters, I just learned last night that I should be paying MUCH closer attention to the FCC's public notice web site.
Had I done this, I would have discovered that the revelations made on this very blog are being cited in FCC filings by ViaSat as examples of how Row 44 allegedly isn't being forthcoming with the agency about its in-flight testing of Ku band-based connectivity aboard that Albatross seaplane on which I had so much fun climbing atop for a photo shoot in Long Beach.
For example, in an 18 September letter to the FCC, regarding Row 44's request for special 60-day temporary authority (STA) to operate twelve (12) AMSS Earth stations mounted on commercial and private aircraft, ViaSat's counsel lists Runway Girl as one of two independent sources confirming that "Row 44 has in fact conducted some of the proposed operations within the United States without having obtained the STA from the commission that Row 44 seeks".
Indeed, my blog entitled "A whale of a good time aboard Row 44's Albatros seaplane" is ViaSat's "Exhibit 1", while a report from local station KNBC(TV) is "Exhibit 2". Both reports have given ViaSat some serious fodder in its continued objections to Row 44's activities (yes, Albatros needed an extra "s" on the end. I know you guys are paying attention).
You can check out the entire 18 September filing here. September 18, 2008 Filing.pdf
Also check out ViaSat's 1 October filing which is particularly relevant as it explains why the firm believes the scope of the experimental license being used by Row 44 is very limited, and does not allow what Southwest wants to do. October 1, 2008 Filing.pdf
But here's the key quote from the 18 September letter:
"Mary Kirby, author of the Runway Girl blog published by Flight, the world's leading provider of aerospace news and data, notes that she sent herself an email while aboard a seaplane 'equipped with Row 44's in-flight connectivity service', which 'floated happily on the waters off of Long Beach before our flight'."
If you've made it this far with me, read on for what I'd like to file under the header: "You can't make this stuff up".
As mentioned in my Thursday teaser blog, yesterday I had a lovely chat with ViaSat director of regulatory affairs Daryl Hunter concerning the firm's objection to Row 44's application to the FCC for a permanent AMSS license (sod all the STAs, they want - and need - a permanent license to quiet ViaSat and ensure carriers can charge passengers for Row 44's in-flight connectivity service).
In the teaser blog, I mentioned ViaSat was preparing a new letter to the FCC that would dispute what it believes is Row 44's unauthorized transmissions from the Albatross aircraft and its commercial trial plans.
Then I received an email from Hunter that included the following:
"I forgot to mention while on the phone that we were referring to your article in the letter."
Sure enough, in an 11 December letter to the FCC - see here ViaSat Ex Parte Letter (12-11-08) (2).pdf - ViaSat calls out Row 44 for details divulged in my blog: "Row 44 on record about Alaska trial and Southwest install".
"Recent statements by Row 44's president, Gregg Fialcowitz, establish that Row 44 has continued its unauthorized operations. Specifically, on December 9, 2008, Mary Kirby, author of the well-known 'Runway Girl' blog, published a report quoting Mr. Fialcowitz in which he: (i) claimed that Row 44 has received 'FCC approval for the trials [of its proposed AMSS system]', (ii) represented that Row 44 is 'presently operating in the US under a temporary FCC license', and (iii) stated that Row 44 has been 'flying the [Row 44] Albatross all over the place testing and showing off the system/service in flight'."
Well blow me over. I had just blogged about myself without realizing it. Like I said, there is not enough hours in the day. Or perhaps, RWG doesn't get enough hours of sleep. Which takes me back to that stacked sleeper bed idea.
Next week, when Flight magazine hits the stands, I'll be at liberty to discuss MmilleniumM Group's plan for bringing stacked sleepers to a long-haul, economy-class cabin near you.
Meanwhile, I think I need to have a little chat with Row 44...