FCC fines Marriott for blocking personal Wi-Fi hotspots

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Marriott made big news for our industry this month: Hotels are not allowed to block personal hotspots and Marriott got fined $600,000 for doing so. The hotel charged exorbitant fees of $250-$1,000 per device to use the Gaylord Wi-Fi service in the conference facilities.

“Consumers who purchase cellular data plans should be able to use them without fear that their personal
Internet connection will be blocked by their hotel or conference center,” said Enforcement Bureau Chief
Travis LeBlanc. “It is unacceptable for any hotel to intentionally disable personal hotspots while also
charging consumers and small businesses high fees to use the hotel’s own Wi-Fi network. This practice puts
consumers in the untenable position of either paying twice for the same service or forgoing Internet access
altogether,” he added.

This is great news for meeting planners who want to bring hotspot devices to the registration desk to provide a reliable and low cost network where attendees can download the mobile event app.

Read the full press release on the FCC News site.