“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.”
This public notice followed a 2014 Enforcement Bureau investigation into Marriot International, Inc. over allegations that the hotels deployed a “deauthentification protocol” to block consumers who tried to connect to the Internet using their own hot spots. While the company claimed its actions were done to protect its customers from unsafe connections, the FCC found that Marriot broke the law and levied a civil penalty of $600,000. The company is no longer allowed to block Wi-Fi signals and must now file compliance orders with the FCC every three months for the next three years.
This Happened to Me. What Can I Do?
If you experienced problems accessing your personal Wi-Fi while staying at a hotel or conference, speak with an attorney in your area. Attorneys are trying to determine whether lawsuits can be filed against hotels that intentionally block their guests’ personal Wi-Fi hot spots and need to hear from people who believe this happened to them. A lawsuit could help consumers seek compensation for money spent purchasing hotel Wi-Fi.