Hotel Was Fined for Jamming Wi-FiAdded: Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
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The government has fined Marriott International $600,000 for jamming conference attendees’ own Wi-Fi networks at one of its hotels. The problem is that the hotel forced the guests to instead to pay $1,000 each to use the hotel’s own connection.
As you know, frequent travelers often carry their personal Wi-Fi hotspots. These are small devices that allow to connect to the worldwide web via cell phone towers. The monthly fee of $50 allows you to connect to the Internet on the move and thus avoid huge fees charged by hotels, airports and various conference facilities.
However, back in 2013, a conference attendee at one of the Convention Centers in Tennessee, managed by Marriott, found that the hotel was jamming their device in its ballrooms. The attendee complained to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), pointing out that the incident had happed previously at another property of the same company.
The Federal Communications Commission found out that Marriott charged conference exhibitors $250 to $1,000 per device for using its Wi-Fi connection. The Commission didn’t release the initial guest complaint except if requested under the Freedom of Information Act. However, this process can take weeks if not months.
Marriott agreed to the fine, but still defended its practice of jamming the guests’ own Wi-Fi networks. Marriott explained that the goal was not to charge people extra for Internet access but to protect its own network. The hotel chain claimed its actions were legal and encouraged the Commission to change its rules to get rid of the ongoing confusion and to assess the merits of its underlying policy.
Marriott has over 4,000 hotels all over the globe. Its representative refused to reveal how many other hotels block personal Wi-Fi connections. In the meantime, the government claimed that users buying cellular data plans should be able to use them freely without fear that their connection will be blocked. The FCC’s representative said that it is unacceptable for any hotel to intentionally disable personal hotspots and charge guests and small businesses high fees to use its own Wi-Fi network. It is clear that such practice forces consumers to either pay twice for the same service or forgo Internet access altogether.
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Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
|So far i didn't experience it on my hotel hopping due to my line of work. fortunately hotel in my place offer free wifi. event the small ones|
|so expensive torture... time to leave earth...|
|posted by (2014-10-14 20:56:13)|
|Marriot needs to be REAL careful ... that practice is called EXTORTION, and it's illegal!|
|posted by (2014-10-15 00:46:38)|
|It'll be a "Freedom of Speech" issue. Civil rights cases are where the money is at.|
|Most hotels offer free Wi-Fi because in the overall cost of running a hotel Wi-Fi provision is a very small addition to the price of a room. For Marriot to make it an 'extra' is bad PR and causes you to wonder what else they are up to!|
|4000 hotels? well 600k aint shit to them people just some pocket change.||
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