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Jonathan Nace
Jonathan Nace
Attorney • (202) 930-0292

Hotels are Jamming Your Hotspot

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The Federal Communications Commission continues to crack down on hotels and convention centers that are blocking Wi-Fi hot spots and forcing consumers onto privately monitored pay networks.  Forbes has compiled a list of recent FCC enforcement actions regarding hot spot blocking:

In October 2014, Marriott agreed to pay $600,000 to resolve an FCC investigation.

In August, trade show and convention telecom services provider Smart City Holdings LLC was fined $750,000 for Wi-Fi blocking at several sites.

The FCC also is proposing a $718,000 fine against systems integration firm M.C. Dean Inc. for alleged Wi-Fi blocking at the Baltimore Convention Center.

These complaints by the FCC are made against some of the biggest nationwide chains of hotels, and convention centers, including Marriott and Hilton Hotels.

The FCC has an obvious role in issuing fines and taking action against these hotels.  But, consumers have avenues for addressing these losses as well.  When consumers have to pay for Wi-Fi access in lieu of the already pre-paid hot spot technology they have purchased, there is an obvious harm.  And with the right action, consumers can bring these actions when they have been adversely affected.