Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Google & Microsoft Urge the FCC to Deny WiFi Blocking Plan to Marriott Hotels

Back in October, the FCC had fined Marriott Hotels for deliberately blocking customers’ personal WiFi hotspots. Now, the company is actually requesting permission from the government to do the same thing they were previously doing illegally. In August, Marriott, along with their business partner Ryman Hospitality Properties and trade group the American Hotel and Lodging Association, sent a petition to the FCC. In the petition, they asked them to “declare that the operator of a Wi-Fi network does not violate U.S. law by using FCC-authorized equipment to monitor and mitigate threats to the security and reliability of its network,” even when taking action causes interference to mobile devices.

Prior to this past Friday, the FCC had opened the hotel’s petition up for the public to comment on. It’s no surprise, that tech giants like Google, Microsoft and CTIA all urged against the FCC approving their petition. However, due mainly to security and privacy reasons, Marriott feels that some hotspot blocking is justified as long as they aren’t using illegal equipment like signal jammers.

As of now, the FCC is still in the process of making a decision on the matter.