Marriott International has agreed to pay a fine of $600,000 after a guest filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission. The guest was attending a conference at the Opryland hotel in Nashville, TN, and found jamming devices in the ballrooms that were jamming conference attendees’ own Wi-Fi hotspots.
Marriott charged conference organizers and exhibitors a fee per access point to use the Gaylord’s Wi-Fi connections while the company was jamming personal Wi-Fi connections. The FCC has instructed the hotel to no longer use jamming technology as it was used at the Opryland. The company upheld its position on blocking guests’ own Wi-Fi networks in the interest of network security including “rogue” wireless hotspots or cyber-attacks. Travis LeBlanc, chief of the FCC’s enforcement bureau, said “it is unacceptable for any hotel to intentionally disable personal hotspots while also charging consumers and small business high fees to use the hotel’s own Wi-Fi network.”