Marriott to Pay $600k for Wi-Fi Blocking

141106_wifiMarriott International, Inc. and its subsidiary Marriott Hotel Services, Inc. have agreed to a financial penalty of $600,000 to settle charges that its employees intentionally interfered with and disabled Wi-Fi networks set up by consumers at its hotel and conference center in Nashville, TN.

According to an investigation by the Enforcement Bureau of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), employees at the company-operated Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville illegally jammed mobile hotspots set up by guests in the public area of the hotel, forcing them to pay $250 to $1000 per device to use the Convention Center’s own Wi-Fi services. The employees allegedly used containment features available in its own Wi-Fi monitoring systems to de-authenticate guest-created hotspots, disassociating devices from Wi-Fi hotspot access points and preventing normal transmissions.

In addition to the $600,000 civil penalty, Marriott has agreed to monitor the use of its Wi-Fi technology at the Gaylord Opryland property, and to file compliance and usage reports with the Enforcement Bureau every three months for the next three years.

Read the complete text of the Commission’s Order in connection with Marriott.

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