FCC Says No Blocking of Wi-Fi Hot Spots, Period

If the Federal Communications Commission's recent fine of Marriott for blocking guests' use of Wi-Fi hot spots was not enough of a signal, the agency's Enforcement Bureau has put an exclamation point on it: No blocking, period!

That came in an Enforcement Advisory issued by the bureau: "WARNING: WiFi Blocking Is Prohibited: Persons or businesses causing intentional interference to Wi-Fi hot spots are subject to enforcement action," the advisory said.

The bureau pointed to its consent decree with Marriott, which admitted it had deliberately blocked consumers trying to use their own Wi-Fi hot spots. Marriott said it was for security reasons, but the FCC saw it as trying to force those consumers to pay for the hotel's Wi-Fi service.

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John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.