Marriott Can No Longer Block You From Using Your Own Wi-Fi Because That Is Ridiculous


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If your travels bring you to both luxury and business traveler hotels, you may have taken anecdotal notice of something that turns out to be actually verifiably true: luxury chains charge for wi-fi, while business and budget chains do not, even though free wi-fi is one of the things we care about the most when traveling.

It seems that semi-luxurious juggernaut Marriott was not content to charge you exorbitant prices for their wi-fi. They also wanted to make sure you could not use your wi-fi by blocking personal wifi hotspots. Marriott was so into this idea that they went to the FCC in the hopes the FCC would bless this endeavor, but the FCC not only declined to do so but pointed out that whole idea was remarkably illegal.

[T]he FCC was blunt in its response to the effort to make guests WiFi captives:

“Persons or businesses causing intentional interference to Wi-Fi hotspots are subject to enforcement action […]

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 […] Such action is illegal and violations could lead to the assessment of substantial monetary penalties.”

Featured image: “Hispanic businessman resting in his hotel room” from Shutterstock.


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