Hotels Can No Longer Ban Your Wi-Fi

If there’s one thing that’s sure to summon the rage of travelers, it’s hotels and their attempts to make you pay for Wi-Fi. Marriott, in particular, got the torches-and-pitchforks treatment when they asked the FCC for the right to block everyone else’s Wi-Fi so they could squeeze you for another few bucks. Unfortunately for Marriott and other big hotels, the FCC was listening.

According to Ars Technica, the FCC dropped the hammer hard on Marriott’s proposal:

“The Enforcement Bureau has seen a disturbing trend in which hotels and other commercial establishments block wireless consumers from using their own personal Wi-Fi hot spots on the commercial establishment’s premises,” the FCC wrote. “As a result, the Bureau is protecting consumers by aggressively investigating and acting against such unlawful intentional interference.”

In other words, if a hotel turns out to be jamming Wi-Fi hot spots, the FCC will fine them for it. Granted, that does leave the rather large loophole of proving that your Wi-Fi is being jammed, and it’s not like the FCC has a SWAT team to burst in and smash jammers. So this might still be a problem in some hotels for a while. But at least now your complaints about how paying $15 a day for Internet access is a crime are now accurate!