Just a quick and dirty update here, folks. I know many of you have been wondering what's going on with Row 44's application for permanent authority from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
One thing you'll note if you troll through the FCC web site is that Row 44 submitted its ground and in-flight test results, but requested confidential treatment of them.
ViaSat, which objects to Row 44's application, has agreed with the California-based company to a protective order whereby ViaSat has access to the test reports but must protect the documents and keep them confidential.
ViaSat is not commenting on the data showing on the reports, good or bad. So we're still waiting, but at least these two can agree on something! ;)
Noted IFE&C consultant Michael Planey still has high hopes for Row 44. And he took me to task for saying recently that the company is floundering about (for the record, I meant that the company still can't do a whole lot without permanent authority).
But Planey makes some excellent points (and we'll hear more from him - and our former Connexion friend - later).
"I still believe that Row 44 is well positioned to rapidly expand into the International marketplace. I wouldn't say that they are 'floundering about' as you did because they are steadily gathering experience and data through their partnerships with Southwest and Alaska.
"That experience will help smooth out some of the rougher edges when it comes time to expand to additional customers. Given that Southwest has more than 400 aircraft to possibly equip and that Alaska Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle are also onboard, Row 44 has a substantial customer base already established.
"I don't have any insight into the length of time remaining on the FCC approval process, but unless it drags into 2010 I believe that Row 44 will be fine."