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Is Your Hotel Blocking Your Internet Access?

So, is your hotel blocking your access to a WiFi hotspot?

It’s not likely. But as a settlement reached last week between the FCC and Marriott shows, it’s possible.

Marriott has agreed to pay a $600,000 fine for blocking out access to customers’ personal WiFi hotspots at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville. (Marriott has managed the hotel since 2012.) The hotel’s motivation: According to the FCC, the hotel was able to charge customers and exhibitors as much as $1,000 to use Marriott’s own WiFi network.

The FCC was not amused. “Consumers who purchase cellular data plans should be able to use them without fear that their personal Internet connection will be blocked by their hotel or conference center. It is unacceptable for any hotel to intentionally disable personal hotspots while also charging consumers and small businesses high fees to use the hotel’s own WiFi network. This practice puts consumers in the untenable position of either paying twice for the same service or forgoing Internet access altogether.”

Apparently the hotel’s WiFi jamming was limited to the convention area. In-room WiFi access was not affected.

Reader Reality Check

Have you ever suspected your hotel was interfering with your WiFi access?

This article originally appeared on

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