“No hotel, convention center, or other commercial establishment or the network operator providing services at such establishments may intentionally block or disrupt personal Wi-Fi hot spots on such premises, including as part of an effort to force consumers to purchase access to the property owner’s Wi‑Fi network,” The FCC states. “Such action is illegal and violations could lead to the assessment of substantial monetary penalties.”
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission forcefully came down on the “disturbing trend” of hotels and other commercial entities blocking consumers’ personal Wi-Fi hot spots and declared such practices “illegal.”
The enforcement advisory directly rebuffs efforts by Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide and the rest of the U.S. hotel industry to get the authority to block attendees’ personal Wi-Fi hotspots at meetings and conventions.
Although the FCC hasn’t directly ruled on the Marriott and American Hotel & Lodging Association petition, filed in August, to seek clarification of the law as it pertains to Wi-Fi blocking, the FCC did note: “While the Enforcement Bureau recognizes that the Petition questions our position, the Bureau will continue to enforce the law as it understands it unless and until the Commission determines otherwise.”
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