Marriott Backpedals and Won’t Block Personal Hotspots

By Paul Riegler on 16 January 2015
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DSC_0373Marriott International reversed its stance and said it will no longer seek to block guests from using their personal Wi-Fi devices at its hotels.

In a statement on its website, the hotelier said it “listens to its customers, and we will not block guests from using their personal Wi-Fi devices at any of our managed hotels.”

In October, Marriott was fined $600,000 by the FCC for blocking rival Wi-Fi networks at a Nashville resort in order to force guests to pay for access to the hotel’s Internet service.

The agency’s investigation had revealed that employees of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, used the hotel’s Wi-Fi monitoring system “to contain and/or de-authenticate guest-created Wi-Fi hotspot access points in the conference facilities.”  This policy forced guests and event attendees to use the hotel’s Wi-Fi system, with charges ranging between $250 and $1,000 per device.

In late December, Marriott said that was only trying to block the use of personal hot spots in conference and meeting facilities, not in guest rooms.  With this week’s announcement, it is no longer even seeking to do that, but is still concerned about network security and protecting customer data.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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