FCC prohibits blocking unauthorised Wi-Fi hotspots in hotels and other businesses

News / Mobile phones

FCC prohibits blocking unauthorised Wi-Fi hotspots in hotels and other businesses

  • 2015-02-13 13:23:58
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News / Mobile phones FCC prohibits blocking unauthorised Wi-Fi hotspots in hotels and other businesses

The Federal Communications Commission has issued an “Enforcement Advisory” that prohibits hotels and other businesses to block Wi-Fi access points created by their guests. 

The advisory comes after Marriott had asked the body to let it block unauthorised Wi-Fi APs created by its guests.

In its advisory, FCC clearly states that any person or business who intentionally tries to interfere with someone’s else Wi-Fi network will be subjected to enforcement action. The body states in its advisory that it “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,” which has ultimately forced it to take steps to protect consumers “by aggressively investigating and acting against such unlawful intentional interference.”

Back in October 2014, Marriott was fined $600,000 by the FCC after the hotel blocked personal Wi-Fi hotspots created by guests in its Nashville, Tennessee branch. While the hotel paid the fine, it requested FCC for permission that will allow it to ban unauthorised Wi-Fi networks. The move was criticised by Google and Microsoft, which ultimately led Marriott to promise that it would not block Wi-Fi APs created by its guests.

Today’s decision from the FCC should finally dash all hopes of Marriott. If the company is still found blocking unauthorised Wi-Fi networks, it will have to pay heavy monetary fines, which will be even worse than the $600,000 it had paid the first time around.

[Via Ars Technica]

Categories: Mobile phones

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