By Jay Fidell
The Sunday New York Times editorial page talked about “brazen” attempts by certain hotels to block guest Wi-Fi. They want to block guests from using their own cell phone connectivity and thus force them to buy hotel Internet instead.
Marriott is asking the FCC to give them the right to block Wi-Fi devices like cellphones that allow guests to get the Internet on their laptops and tablets, requiring guests to buy hotel Wi-Fi which is ridiculously more expensive.
Last October, the FCC fined Marriott $600,000 for preventing customers from using their own connectivity at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville. The hotel was charging attendees at a conference up to $1,000 for hotel Wi-Fi.
Marriott says they want to do this to protect guests from rogue Wi-Fi networks that hack into guest computers. That sounds like bunk. Their motivation is to squeeze guests for more money. We should see it for what it is.
Some hospitality. It’s a grab right out of the 19th Century.
The Internet should be as free as we can make it, especially in hotels where we pay to stay. That considered, we should say no to hotels that create artificial monopolies to force us into electronic submission. Let’s fight back and walk out.
The FCC should not empower them to do this. It should summarily deny these brazen attempts to manipulate us into paying for things we don’t need or want. We should express our displeasure by reserving somewhere else.