â€œNo 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 ownerâ€™s Wiâ€‘Fi network,â€ The FCC states. â€œSuch action is illegal and violations could lead to the assessment of substantial monetary penalties.â€
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission forcefully came down on the â€œdisturbing trendâ€ of hotels and other commercial entities blocking consumersâ€™ personal Wi-Fi hot spots and declared such practices â€œillegal.â€
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 attendeesâ€™ personal Wi-Fi hotspots at meetings and conventions.
Although the FCC hasnâ€™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: â€œWhile 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.â€
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