Comments filed late last week with the FCC on a proposal to establish a terrestrial next-generation air-to-ground (ATG) broadband service in the 14 GHz band were divided into two camps, with airlines voicing strong support for the plan and representatives of the satellite industry objecting on grounds of potential interference. The comments address a petition for rulemaking, filed by Qualcomm, in which Qualcomm urges the FCC to conduct an auction of two next-generation terrestrial ATG licenses—one in the 14.00-14.25 GHz band and the other in the 14.25-14.50 GHz band. Although both licensed systems would operate in a manner that is similar to the current ATG network licensed to Gogo (formerly Aircell), each system, argued Qualcomm, would offer substantially higher connection speeds within a larger swath of spectrum (250 MHz) that would satisfy “the ever-increasing demands of mobile users who need to maintain full access while they are traveling in a plane for hours at a time.” Qualcomm further advised the FCC against restricting any one entity from acquiring both licenses so as to promote “a more robust 500 MHz system.” Voicing support for the proposal as one that “may significantly mitigate the projected future capacity shortcomings of the current [ATG] broadband allocation,” Gogo told the FCC that, while it has announced plans to add Ka-band satellite capacity for its service, such capability “may not always provide the best solution for all aircraft and all customers.” The proposal was also endorsed by American Airlines, United Airlines (UA) and Virgin America (VA), the first carrier to offer Gogo throughout its entire fleet. As UA encouraged the FCC to “favorably consider this petition,” VA said that, “to support the rapid increase in consumer wireless devices that need always-on connectivity, the FCC should proceed with a rulemaking to address the need for the next generation of [ATG] services.” Observing, however, that the 14.0-14.5 GHz band “is used intensively for a wide variety of commercial government and military applications,” the Satellite Industry Association charged that Qualcomm’s petition “does not adequately address serious interference concerns between co-frequency operations or establish how [a] secondary ATG service would practicably co-exist with primary operations in the 14.0-14.5 GHz band.” Agreeing that the proposal “could have a material impact on service viability,” Boeing warned the FCC against initiating “a rulemaking on a proposed new service in the 14.0-14.5 GHz band until the issue of Ku-band [aeronautical mobile satellite service] regulatory status is resolved.”