Hotel chain Marriott has requested the Federal Communications Commission to allow the full implementation of blocking hotel guests’ personal Wi-Fi and Mi-Fi devices around its premises, Tech Times reports. Marriott says that the request is based on security concerns, stating that guests can use their hotspot-enabled devices to compromise the hotel’s network or to commit a data breach involving other guests.
The company adds that the restriction is only applied at conference or meeting spaces, not hotel guest rooms. These “imposter WiFi hotspots” could pose a security threat to conference attendees, the hotel chain says.
Three months ago, the FCC fined Marriott $600,000 for employing a blocking technology that knocked out WiFi devices of guests, exhibitors and others at the company’s Opryland property in Nashville. According to Travis LeBlanc, FCC’s chief of the enforcement bureau, “It is unacceptable for any hotel to intentionally disable personal hotspots, while also charging customers and small businesses high fees to use the hotel’s own WiFi network.” Marriott’s petition is also opposed by Microsoft, Google, and the cell industry’s trade group, CTIA.
In the petition, Marriott and some others have asked for the FCC to amend or provide clarity to the rules concerning interference for unlicensed spectrum bands.