Marriott to pay $600K fine for blocking guests’ Wi-Fi networks

October 7, 2014

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has come after Marriott for its alleged practice of blocking guests' mobile hotspots, effectively forcing consumers to connect to the hotel chain's Wi-Fi.

To resolve the FCC investigation, Marriott International and its subsidiary Marriott Hotel Services agreed to pay $600,000. In a Friday release, the FCC said that Marriott employees “used containment features of a Wi-Fi monitoring system…to prevent individuals from connecting to the internet via their own personal Wi-Fi networks.” Consumers and businesses were charged up to $1,000 per device to access Marriott's network, the FCC said.

Marriott was ordered to stop using unlawful Wi-Fi blocking technology and to implement a compliance plan. The matter was brought to the Commission's attention in March 2013, after an individual attending an event at a Tennessee Marriott resort, Gaylord Opryland, complained.

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