FCC To Marriott: Don’t Ever Think Of Blocking Portable Hotspots Again

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After the FCC fined Marriott $600,000 for blocking hotspots at it’s Gaylord Opryland hotel, the hotel company petitioned Federal Communications Commission to change it rules.

WSJ Marriott

The FCC sent a clear signal to any business that has or is thinking of blocking hotpots that it is against the law and would incur significant monetary penalties.

READ MORE: Marriott Fined $600,000 By FCC For Illegally Jamming Mobile Hotspots & UPDATE WITH MARRIOTT’S RESPONSE: Marriott Gaylord Opryland Blocking Wifi

Here’s the FCC Enforcement Advisory:

Download (PDF, 93KB)

Here’s an excerpt from WSJ (access the piece here):

Federal Communications Commission officials warned that the agency will prosecute businesses that block people from using personal Wi-Fi networks.

In a so-called enforcement advisory Tuesday, the FCC said its enforcement bureau has witnessed a “disturbing trend” in which hotels and other commercial establishments block wireless consumers from using personal Wi-Fi hot spots on their premises. It said it would be aggressive in investigating and acting against any blocking.

FCC officials already have cracked down on Marriott International Inc., following an incident in which the hotel chain blocked people from using personal hot spots at Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center. Marriott agreed to settle the matter by paying a $600,000 civil penalty.

Marriott and a hotel industry group, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, petitioned the FCC to change its policy. But the agency made clear Tuesday that it views any Wi-Fi blocking as unlawful intentional interference with the public’s right to use the airwaves.

Conclusion

The thing that Marriott did was simply wrong, period. Marriott was trying to claim the moral highroad and saying that they were doing it to block rogue hotspots that could harm guests.  A more cynical way of seeing their action is they were simply doing this to prevent revenue leak.

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