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$600,000 Fine for Blocking WiFi Hotspots in Hotel

10.17.14

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fined a hotel after “some of its employees in a Nashville hotel illegally blocked private WiFi signals and customer hotspots so that guests and conference attendees would have to pay to use the hotel’s WiFi services.” On October 6, 2014 the FCC reported that the “incident occurred in March 2013 at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee” and that the hotel:

…had used features of a WiFi monitoring system at the Gaylord Opryland to contain and/or de-authenticate guest-created WiFi hotspot access points in the conference facilities.

The FCC stated that:

Blocking of such signals is a violation of Section 333 of the U.S. Communications Act, according to the FCC. Section 333 provides that “No person shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference to any radio communications of any station licensed or authorized by or under this Act or operated by the United States Government.” That interference includes any kind of jamming or other interference with such signals.

This FCC fine should change how WiFi is offered in hospitality settings in the future.

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