The FCC has finally issued a decree on the subject.
At this link:
From the FCC decree:
What is Prohibited? No hotel, convention center, or other commercial establishment or the
network operator providing services at such establishments may intentionally block or disrupt
personal Wi-Fi hot spots on such premises, including as part of an effort to force consumers to
purchase access to the property owner’s Wi-Fi network. Such action is illegal and violations
could lead to the assessment of substantial monetary penalties.
Well now, that's unfortunate.
Looks like private companies now have to ensure they have appropriate staff on hand to track down egregious RF offenders and present them with the option of voluntarily turning off their devices, or being removed from the premises.
Fun times ahead.
The report makes no reference or differentiation for rouge devices connected to the `Hotels` network. Leaving a huge grey area.
Personally I think its wrong for Hotels to block MiFi's using the mobile phone network for back-haul. But reasonable for them to block rouge devices that are redistributing the hotels network. Such as plugging a portable router into a hardwired port.
RF offenders ?
And unless someone overshoots the regulatory power or band limits, the FCC won't be doing anything either.
Neither side can intentionally jam the signals, which means the outsiders can't use de-authentication against the hotels either.
All companies will now have to be more careful with their IPS's to not jam nearby neighbors operating legitimate WLAN's.
Yes, from the perspective of operational monitoring of a private facility, I'd consider them 'RF offenders' (i.e. - uncontrolled radio sources adversely impacting designed network function).
It then comes down to a question of which is more important, letting them use whatever radio device has been detected, or tracking them down and asking them to physically leave (highly unlikely in most situations; especially a hotel, etc...).
The FCC directive specifically says that the Hotel can't do anything about it. Kicking someone out would equate to the same thing- it would stop them from operating, which the Hotel is not allowed to control.
Unless I'm mistaken, a hotel can remove any guest it chooses to, at it's sole discretion. Are they not private businesses on private property?
Obviously it would be PR suicide to do so at a hotel, so is exceedingly unlikely to happen.
True, but are you willing to risk a $600k fine from the FCC, for doing it ? Especially if you are Marriot.
I think perhaps we aren't on the same page here, Howard.
If the hotel cannot use other means to contain a users radio, and the only recourse they have is to remove that person and their equipment from the premises, the FCC could not possibly fine them. They have done nothing other than remove that person (and by extension, their equipment) from _their_ property.
Extreme measure for sure, but I see nothing wrong with it.
If I was running a private company that had critical WiFI infrastructure, and all of a sudden I had a half dozen employees that insisted on running their own LTE hotspots to the detriment of the Enterprise network in the building (again, permit me some form of example situation that impacts intended performance), I could not now (according to the FCC) use any of my wireless vendors 'containment' features. So what would be my recourse? I could make it conditional as part of their employment that they cannot use that hardware on the company property.
Surely the FCC can't dictate what equipment I *must* allow physically operating on *my* property. This is the point I'm getting at.
If someone popped out of their hotel room at 3AM with a bullhorn and started singing at the top of their lungs, what would be the rational reaction? Does the person have the right to free speech? Sure. Do I have the right to take their bullhorn? Nope. Do I have the right to remove them from my property? I sure do.
I agree that an employee could be controlled, even terminated. We have that problem where I work.
A guest who has paid for hotel or convention center access? No.
Their latest position is that "Marriot will not block Wi-Fi signals at any hotel we manage for any reasons." and I would contend that asking someone to leave is the same as blocking.