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FCC Cracking Down On Hotels Blocking Our Wi-Fi

BY TEAM JST

Facebook Marriott Hotels Wi-Fi

Is it okay for hotels to block your personal Wi-Fi hotspots?

FCC finally puts a stop to that.

SEE ALSO: This Awesome New Tool Displays A Hotel’s WiFi Speed Info

This week, Federal Communications Commission released a statement in response to Marriott Hotels and the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s (AH&LA)request for resolution on blocking Wi-Fi hotspots. FCC’s statement reads:

In the 21st Century, Wi-Fi represents an essential on-ramp to the Internet. Persons or businesses causing intentional interference to Wi-Fi hotspots are subject to enforcement action…The Enforcement Bureau has seen a disturbing trend in which hotels and other commercial establishments block wireless consumers from using their own personal Wi-Fi hot spots on the commercial establishment’s premises. As a result, the Bureau is protecting consumers by aggressively investigating and acting against such unlawful intentional interference.

Months ago, Marriott was fined $600,000 for blocking guests’ Wi-Fi during a conference at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. The blockage forced hotel guests and conference attendees to pay in order to use hotel’s Wi-Fi connection. It triggered an online petition which generated 29,000 signatures, asking the FCC to clarify regulations against blocking Wi-Fi devices at hotels.

Both Marriott and AH&LA wanted to ensure their own network security. In response to the issue of blocking Wi-Fi devices, Marriott also released a statement:

Marriott International listens to its customers, and we will not block guests from using their personal Wi-Fi devices at any of our managed hotels. Marriott remains committed to protecting the security of Wi-Fi access in meeting and conference areas at our hotels. We will continue to look to the FCC to clarify appropriate security measures network operators can take to protect customer data, and will continue to work with the industry and others to find appropriate market solutions that do not involve the blocking of Wi-Fi devices.

AH&LA also had something to say, defending that cybersecurity is a serious issue:

Research shows that there were some 42 million cybersecurity incidents last year, marking an almost 50% increase over the year before. With nearly five million people checking into hotels every day, protecting them against cybersecurity threats is of utmost importance.

As an industry we seek to address this challenge while continuing to provide access to secure Wi-Fi. To that end, we are convening an AH&LA industry task force to develop practical, market-based solutions and are collaborating with our partners in the technology, telecommunications and other sectors to address this issue quickly. In the meantime, we think it is incumbent on policy makers to consider how their current rules may impact consumer safety and security.

Source: The Verge. Additional reporting by Jetset Times. 

What do you think of FCC’s resolution of prohibiting hotels’ blockage on Wi-Fi connections? Let us know in the comments.

Photo: Facebook/Marriott Hotels
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Categories: In Crowd

Author:Jetset Times

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