The FCC is warning hotels and other commercial establishments not to block customers’ personal Wi-Fi hotspots. “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,” the commission writes in an enforcement advisory. “As a result, the Bureau is protecting consumers by aggressively investigating and acting against such unlawful intentional interference.”
The FCC noted that Marriott agreed to settle a Wi-Fi blocking investigation by agreeing to pay a civil penalty of $600,000. The commission adds that the operation, marketing, or sale of any tpe of jamming equipment is illegal.
If you believe your personal hotspot has been blocked you can file a complaint at visit www.fcc.gov/complaints.
You can read the complete advisory here.
As Brendan Sasso notes at National Journal, Marriott and others have filed a petition with the FCC asking that they be allowed to block Wi-Fi hotspots for security reasons. Writes Sasso, “The FCC hasn’t officially ruled on Marriott’s petition yet. But it’s clear which way the commission is heading.”