Marriott fined $600,000 for jamming Wi-Fi

Discussion in 'Marriott | Rewards' started by pointshogger, Oct 3, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. pointshogger

    pointshogger Silver Member

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  2. ACMM
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    ACMM Gold Member

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    Glad they got called out on this ...
     
  3. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Not nearly a high enough fine IMHO
     
  4. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    apparently Marriott thinks they were right to block the airwaves if you read the article and they are still monitoring them.

    I think they are forgetting that the airwaves belong to the people, not them.

    -David
     
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  5. trippin_the_rift
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    trippin_the_rift Silver Member

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    Straight up disgusting.

    Marriott should be forced to provide refunds too.
     
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  6. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Quick question.
    They "kill" the wifi but not the 3G / 4G right and then get the visitors to buy their services.

    While I would rather Marriot gives it out free (wifi...quality wifi) after all the venue is booked and paid for, is this not similar to most bars or restaurants not letting customers to bring in their own liquor unless expressively allowed in certain circumstances and usually with conditions and extra fees.
     
  7. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    What would probably have made it better is that they should have been open about this?
     
  8. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    They charge outrageous fees for groups using their wifi. That was also covered in the article. They are certainly entitled to charge something, after all they have to pay for the infrastructure and the bandwidth they have installed at their facilities, but they don't have a right to block others from using the airwaves.

    -David
     
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  9. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    I think it's debatable. What you say makes sense on one level but why should WiFi be separate from any other utility? Do they charge extra if you use electricity? Or maybe $8 to watch the television or receive a phone call since they have to pay for cable and telephone infrastructure? Maybe a $6.99/day fee if you use the restroom in the lobby since there is plumbing infrastructure?

    The key here, I think, it "utility". IMO Internet access has become almost as much expected as water and television. In fact, I dare to say it has replaced television for many guests. It's time they found another cash cow since charging for basic internet is probably putting a hotel at a competitive disadvantage now.
     
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  10. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    the difference is that wifi is not a utility like electricity, and the hotel is free to offer/charge what they like if you use their wifi, but it's illegal for them to block other devices using that radio spectrum, since the airwaves belong to the people, not them.

    That's why they agreed to pay $600k.

    It's not illegal for you to use your freedompop hotspot or smartphone tethering your cellular data connection over wifi, for example, in a Marriott. It is illegal if they block your wifi signal exported by those devices.

    -David
     
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  11. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I think it's questionable though... very "gray-ish" area when you think about it. They weren't actually interfering with the radio spectrum but instead forcing the other APs to have issues (there's another thread on the Travel Technology section where I added some details).

    It's shady -- at best -- and certainly consumer unfriendly, but you can see how they can spin it differently. They were only doing this in the convention area, and the argument was that someone could come in with a malicious access point and bait people into connecting, with whatever nefarious intentions they had. The convention organizer would have a dedicated access point set up by the Gaylord folks that would be (presumably) secure, and they would target all these "rogue" access points so that they would be unusable.
     
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  12. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    I agree. I'm sorry, I did a poor job of quoting. I was questioning your example where you stated:
    I wanted to point out internet is viewed similarly to other more conventional utilities these days, infrastructure and all. I did not mean to question your statement about blocking airwaves being illegal.
     
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  13. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    If they were interfering with the radio spectrum, it's illegal. I'll look for your other post.

    I also read their "reasons" and I think it's more likely that is their spin on it. Wifi access is a very lucrative option for them, plain and simple, they were protecting their profits IMHO.


    Thanks for clarifying. If talking about wired internet (cable or dsl for example), sure I agree with that, to some extent it's like a utility, but the regulation is different than the normal public utilities.

    -David
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014
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  14. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    :mad: A scandalous profit grab. Clearly in need of Federal regulatory intervention beyond the simple fine. This is how rights get eroded...where does this stop? If there are public access resources, private enterprise cannot compromise them. A clear message could be sent by those who find this shady and gouging, by refusing to book this property for their events and explaining to their colleagues as well as Marriott management why they choose not to. That would achieve results more quickly than further FCC intervention, necessary though it is.
     

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