24 December 2014

Hotel Telecommunications F%$#ery

Marriott specifically, who just got fined for jamming personal Wi-Fi hotspots, and is now attempting to get regulatory forbearance:
Microsoft and Google don’t agree on much, but they’ve presented a united front against the hotel industry, which is trying to convince government regulators to give them the option of blocking guests from using personal Wi-Fi hotspots.

The tech companies recently joined the wireless industry’s lobbying group and a handful of other parties in opposing the hotel industry’s petition, which seeks the Federal Communications Commission’s permission to block personal Wi-Fi networks on their properties.

This summer, the American Hospitality & Lodging Association and Marriott International asked the FCC to declare that a hotel operator can use equipment to manage its network even if it “may result in ‘interference with or cause interference’ to a [wireless device] being used by a guest on the operator’s property.”
 Now that many people have cell phones, and don't pay the usurious fees for phone calls, Marriott wants to jam personal Wi-Fi hotspots so that they can charge equally usurious fees for that:
The Marriott-owned Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center tech staff was using a monitoring system that de-authenticated guests’ personal Wi-Fi hot spots. Meanwhile, the hotel was charging exhibitors and attendees anywhere from $250 to $1,000 for Wi-Fi service, the FCC said.

In October, Marriott settled an FCC complaint about the practice for $600,000 but argued that it hadn’t broken the law and was using technology to protect guests from “rogue wireless hotspots that can cause degraded service, insidious cyber attacks and identity theft.”

A month later, the agency asked for comments on Marriott’s earlier request to find such Wi-Fi blocking legal.
 Like I said, Hotel Telecommunications F%$#ery.

I think that the deadline for comment has passed, but you can read the comments here.


Quasit said...

By the same logic, Marriott could block cell signals to force customers to pay them to make phone calls.

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