Saturday, October 4, 2014

FCC Fines Marriott for Wi-Fi Blocking at Gaylord Opryland

The FCC imposed a $600,000 fine on Marriott Hotel Services for blocking customers' own Wi-Fi signals at the conference facilities of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.


The FCC said its investigation revealed that Marriott employees had used containment features of a Wi-Fi monitoring system at the Gaylord Opryland to prevent individuals from connecting to the Internet via their own personal Wi-Fi networks, while at the same time charging consumers, small businesses, and exhibitors as much as $1,000 per device to access Marriott’s Wi-Fi network. This action was determined to be a violation of Section 333 of the Communications Act. The FCC investigation was prompted by a consumer complaint in March 2013.

“Consumers who purchase cellular data plans should be able to use them without fear that their personalInternet connection will be blocked by their hotel or conference center,” said Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc. “It is unacceptable for any hotel to intentionally disable personal hotspots while also charging consumers and small businesses high fees to use the hotel’s own Wi-Fi network. This practice puts consumers in the untenable position of either paying twice for the same service or forgoing Internet access altogether,” he added.

http://www.fcc.gov/document/marriott-pay-600k-resolve-wifi-blocking-investigation


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