FCC Warns Hotels About Intentionally Blocking Wi-Fi Hotspots

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The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday issued a public enforcement advisory that warns hotel chains and other commercial establishments about intentionally blocking or interfering with Wi-Fi hotspots. The FCC's Enforcement Bureau claims that interfering with Wi-Fi hotspots is illegal and that it will take appropriate action against violators by imposing substantial fines.

instanthotspot
The warning follows an FCC investigation in which the government agency discovered a so-called "disturbing trend" where hotels and other commercial establishments were purposefully blocking wireless customers from connecting to their Wi-Fi hotspots. Marriott Hotels was found to have "deployed a Wi-Fi deauthentication protocol" to block customers from accessing Wi-Fi and agreed to pay a $600,000 fine.

iPhone users have long resorted to Personal Hotspot to turn their cellular data connection into a Wi-Fi network for the purpose of tethering a Mac or other connected device. Apple made Personal Hotspot more convenient in iOS 8 with Instant Hotspot, a new feature that automatically detects when an iPhone is within close range of an iPad or Mac and displays the device in the list of available Wi-Fi networks.

Top Rated Comments

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71 months ago
Very good use of government authority. Thank you, FCC.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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71 months ago

I would rather if the free market had just taken care of this, but since that wasn't happening, I'm glad the FCC stepped in.



Your precious "free market" is a myth. Hence, why the government steps in to save the day, as usual. :rolleyes:
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
71 months ago
You'd think it would alleviate their WIFI congestion a bit. But nooo, the almighty dollar wins again. Overpriced dollar that is. Hotel Wifi is crazy expensive for what you get (most of the time)
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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71 months ago
I'm surprised they don't attempt to block cellular traffic in order to sell more phone service.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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71 months ago

It should be downright illegal. I've never really understood the regulations and rules users need to adjust too regarding hotspots. Luckily we don't have any of that in Europe. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't carriers try to add additional fees for using the hotspot functionality in the iPhone, which is a feature that comes with the phone?


It is downright illegal. The problem is there isn't really a good way of accurately reporting a hotel for doing this. The FCC should make an app that allows a user to voluntarily upload their wifi connection logs and report a hotel for doing this.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
71 months ago
The practice was quite shady to begin with, hopefully it will be a thing of the past very soon.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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