UPDATE WITH MARRIOTT’S RESPONSE: Marriott Gaylord Opryland Blocking Wifi

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Last Friday, Marriott was fined $600,000 by FCC for illegally jamming guests’ Wi-Fi hotspots at the Gaylord Opryland hotel.

Marriott Gaylord Opryland Blocking Wifi Marriot Responds

At the time I wrote the piece (access here), Marriott hadn’t released their position statement about the issue and FCC enforcement.

Here’s the (rather ridiculous) statement from Marriott:

Marriott International’s Statement on FCC Ruling

Marriott has a strong interest in ensuring that when our guests use our Wi-Fi service, they will be protected from rogue wireless hotspots that can cause degraded service, insidious cyber-attacks and identity theft. Like many other institutions and companies in a wide variety of industries, including hospitals and universities, the Gaylord Opryland protected its Wi-Fi network by using FCC-authorized equipment provided by well-known, reputable manufacturers.  We believe that the Gaylord Opryland’s actions were lawful.  We will continue to encourage the FCC to pursue a rulemaking in order to eliminate the ongoing confusion resulting from today’s action and to assess the merits of its underlying policy.

Conclusion

Marriott doesn’t own the airwaves, they are government regulated property, period. Guests are allowed to set up their own hotspots that they can use to connect internet enabled devices to the net. This Marriott affiliated hotel got caught with their pants down for jamming guests Wi-Fi hotspots.

The only thing Marriott doesn’t like here is the possible revenue leak when these connections (4G/LTE) are far faster than what Marriott can ever provide and charge for. This “rogue access point” Denial of Service capability is meant to safeguard corporate networks from bad actors, not a way to force the public to pay for overpriced and throttled network access.

Marriott believes that the hotels have the right to jam guests’ own Wi-Fi hotspots to protect revenue? How ethical is this? I find Marriott’s response to be utterly ridiculous, a really bad attempt to put spin on the FCC action which was very factual.

Who puts out a press releases like this?

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