Convention center Wi-Fi provider settles with FCC over automatic hotspot blocking

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) settled with Smart City Holdings, an internet and telecommunications provider that outfits convention centers around the U.S. with internet, for its blocking of personal mobile hotspots.

The $750,000 settlement addresses the company's practice of automatically blocking mobile hotspots established by visitors and exhibitors at convention centers so they have to purchase Smart City's $80 per day Wi-Fi services. 

The FCC said that during its investigation Smart City was observed using the strategy in Ohio, Indiana, Florida and Arizona.

“It is unacceptable for any company to charge consumers exorbitant fees to access the internet while at
the same time blocking them from using their own personal Wi-Fi hotspots to access the internet,”
Travis LeBlanc, chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau, said in a press release.

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