US hotels and conference centres warned against blocking wi-fi

US regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a warning to US hotels, conference centres and other commercial establishments stating the blocking of wi-fi is prohibited.

Marriott's Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, Nashville
Marriott's Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, Nashville

The statement comes after Marriott International was fined £373,000 ($600,000) last year when the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Centre and Convention Centre in Nashville, Tennessee, blocked conference delegates’ own wi-fi networks, forcing them to pay for the hotel’s own connection.

The FCC said that following the settlement, the Enforcement Bureau received ‘several complaints’ that other commercial wi-fi network operators may be doing the same thing, and is currently investigating them.

A statement on the FCC website read: "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." 

Marriott International announced this month that it would stop blocking its guests from using personal wi-fi devices at its hotels.

More:

 Hyatt to offer free wi-fi at all hotels

 Marriott to buy Canada's Delta Hotels for £89m

Marriott to expand Moxy Hotels brand in US

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