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 newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

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

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 Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?