FCC Fines Marriott $600K for Blocking Wi-Fi


The FCC has fined the Marriott hotel chain for blocking guests using personal wireless devices - specifically, MI-FIs. This should be a warning to those who simply turn on WIPS (Wireless Intrusion Protection) without really understanding the consequences.

WIPS is included in many enterprise wireless solutions, including Aruba Networks, but need to be used thoughtfully, against true security threats. Many users simply enable the auto-mitigation features and hope for the best. A better way would be to use the WIPS monitoring and alerting features and be notified of a possible threat. Then a real human being can decide if this is a true threat that needs to be mitigated, a false alarm, or in the case of the Marriott, something that should have been ignored.

Here is a good overview of the decision on Airtight Networks blog ➥

It is unacceptable for any hotel to intentionally disable personal hotspots while also charging consumers and small businesses high fees to use the hotel’s own Wi-Fi network. This practice puts consumers in the untenable position of either paying twice for the same service or forgoing Internet access altogether,” he added.
— Federal Communications Commission