Marriott now says it won't block guests' Wi-Fi hotspots

The hotel operator will look for other ways to secure its own networks

Hotel operator Marriott International has backed off its request to block some outside Wi-Fi hotspots inside its facilities, saying the company has responded to customer feedback.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission in October levied a US $600,000 fine on Marriott for blocking outside Wi-Fi hotspots at conference facilities. The hotel operator, business partner Ryman Hospitality Properties and trade group the American Hotel and Lodging Association had pursued a proceeding asking the FCC to clarify when hotels can block outside Wi-Fi hotspots in order to protect their internal Wi-Fi services.

But on Wednesday, Marriott said it will not "block guests from using their personal Wi-Fi devices at any of our managed hotels."

The hotel operator "remains committed to protecting the security of Wi-Fi access in meeting and conference areas at our hotels," the company said in a statement. "We will continue to look to the FCC to clarify appropriate security measures network operators can take to protect customer data, and will continue to work with the industry and others to find appropriate market solutions that do not involve the blocking of Wi-Fi devices."

A Marriott spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a message asking about the status of the petition at the FCC.

Marriott was under pressure to change its policies. Activist group Care2 organized a petition calling on the FCC to reject the petition from the hotel group to allow some Wi-Fi blocking. As of Thursday afternoon, the Care2 petition had collected more than 14,000 signatures, including from people from France, Germany, the U.K. and Argentina. It's unclear when the petition was launched.

"As a frequent traveler, it's great to know Marriott now offers green hotels rooms at some locations," the petition organizer wrote, "But it's not so great that they are seeking to block patrons' use of personal Wi-Fi devices."

Earlier Wednesday, before Marriott's change in policy, Inc.com rated Marriott one of the worst hotel chains for delivering Wi-Fi services to its guests.

Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is grant_gross@idg.com.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Care2regulationNetworkingwirelessMarriott InternationalU.S. Federal Communications CommissiongovernmentWLANs / Wi-Fi

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Grant Gross

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?