Hotels continue to fight for control of the internet on their properties. The American Hospitality and Lodging Association and Marriott International petitioned the FCC to allow hotels to interfere with guests’ personal hotspots while they are on hotel property. This petition comes after Marriott was fined $600,000 for blocking guests’ hotspots during a conference in Nashville.
Marriott’s petition argues that hotels should be able to control the internet on their properties in order to ensure reliability and security of the Wi-Fi service that they provide to guests. The petition states that hotels are concerned with managing bandwidth and preventing cyber-crime.
A lawyer’s opinion suggests that they Marriott’s argument is legally unsound and harmful to consumers. Allowing hotels to block personal hotspots would give hotels a monopoly on internet access and open the possibility of censorship, which would be inconvenient for vacationers and possibility prohibitive for business travelers.
Several corporations weighed in during the comment period, which closed in December.