Marriott Fined by FCC for Blocking Guests’ Personal Wi-Fi at Gaylord Opryland

  • Marriott International
  • 10.06.14
As was reported over the weekend by media outlets such as Reuters, The Washington Post, Security Week and others, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined Marriott International $600,000 for blocking consumers’ personal Wi-Fi and personal hotspots while guests or exhibitors at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel conference facilities in Nashville.

As reported in The Washington Post, the move by the property forced guests to pay fees ranging from $250 to $1,000 per access point for use of the property’s connection. Marriott has agreed to pay the fine but did respond to the property’s actions, saying that the block was in line with FCC regulations and was enacted as a network security effort to protect against cyberattacks, potential identity theft and other security risks.

On Oct. 3, 2014, Marriott International posted the following official response to the FCC ruling:
“Marriott has a strong interest in ensuring that when our guests use our Wi-Fi service, they will be protected from rogue wireless hotspots that can cause degraded service, insidious cyber-attacks and identity theft. Like many other institutions and companies in a wide variety of industries, including hospitals and universities, the Gaylord Opryland protected its Wi-Fi network by using FCC-authorized equipment provided by well-known, reputable manufacturers.  We believe that the Gaylord Opryland's actions were lawful.  We will continue to encourage the FCC to pursue a rulemaking in order to eliminate the ongoing confusion resulting from today's action and to assess the merits of its underlying policy.”

Additional information can be found through the following links:
Reuters – http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/03/us-marriott-intnl-fine-idUSKCN0HS1XF20141003
Security Week – http://www.securityweek.com/fcc-slaps-marriott-600000-fine-jamming-wi-fi-hotspots
The Washington Posthttp://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/marriott-fined-600000-for-jamming-guests-wi-fi/2014/10/03/e4c5f068-4b3e-11e4-a4bf-794ab74e90f0_story.html  
Marriott International – http://news.marriott.com/2014/10/marriott-internationals-statement-on-fcc-ruling.html



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