Marriott International continues to insist on its right to block other Wi-Fi networks other than its own in its hotels. The old story remained unchanged until the beginning of January, when Marriott issued a new statement regarding outside Wi-Fi. According to the hotelier, their main aim is to protect their meeting and conference guests from potential cyber attacks, and that is not possible if guests use their own Wi-Fi.
The hotelier added that it was never their policy to limit access of their guests to Internet, and they are not against personal Wi-Fi/Mi-Fi devices, moreover, they encourage such devices and their use in Marriott hotels. This concerns guestrooms and Internet in lobby. However, the hotelier has high security requirements for meeting and conference spaces, and they cannot be sure network operators are able to detect imposter and rogue Wi-Fi hotspots that can be a threat to conference attendees. That’s the reason the hotelier is against guest networks in the abovementioned spaces. However, hotel guests have other thoughts on the subject, and so they continue filling claims to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). FCC, in its turn, accepts guests’ point of view that they should decide what network to use at hotels and they cannot be forced to use the hotel’s one. Marriott’s position has been supported by Hilton Worldwide and AH&LA, but such giants as Google and Microsoft commented against the policy as it leads to high Wi-Fi access fees. The hotelier was already fined US$600,000 for jamming Wi-Fi in two its hotels. Marriott has petitioned the FCC regarding the clarification of the law and currently waits for a reply.