FCC says businesses blocking consumer Wi-Fi illegal

01/28/2015 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)

Washington – In a recent Enforcement Advisory, the Federal Communications Commission declared that businesses that intentionally block consumer WiFi are violating the law. As reported by WebProNews, the FCC released the notice in response to a complaint against the Marriot hotel chain, which led to a fine of $600,000 after a location in Nashville, Tennessee blocked personal Wi-Fi hotspots of customers.

The FCC is quoted as stating in the advisory, “In the 21st Century, Wi-Fi, represents an essential on-ramp to the internet. Personal Wi-Fi networks, or “hot spots,” are an important way that consumers connect to the Internet. Willful or malicious interference with Wi-Fi hot spots is illegal.”

The notice further states, “Wi-Fi blocking violates Section 333 of the Communications Act, as amended. The Enforcement Bureau has seen a disturbing trend in which hotels and other commercial establishments block wireless consumers from using their own personal Wi-Fi hot spots on the commercial establishment’s premises. As a result, the Bureau is protecting consumers by aggressively investigating and acting against such unlawful intentional interference.”

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