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Hilton fined by FCC for wifi blocking

JM48

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Interesting info.
JM


FCC to Fine Hilton Hotels for Failure to Comply With WI-FI Blocking Investigation
on: January 13, 2016No Comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (January 13, 2016) — The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau has proposed a $25,000 fine against Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc. for its apparent obstruction of an investigation into whether Hilton engaged in the blocking of consumers’ Wi-Fi devices. In the Nov. 2015 order, the Bureau directs Hilton to immediately provide essential information and documents about its Wi-Fi management practices and warns the company that it may face a significantly higher fine for any continued obstruction or delay.

“Hotel guests deserve to have their Wi-Fi blocking complaints investigated by the Commission,” said Travis LeBlanc, Chief of the FCC Enforcement Bureau. “To permit any company to unilaterally redefine the scope of our investigation would undermine the independent search for the truth and the due administration of the law.”

In August 2014, the Commission received an initial consumer complaint alleging that the Hilton in Anaheim, California blocked visitors’ Wi-Fi hot spots unless those consumers paid a $500 fee to access Hilton’s Wi-Fi. The Commission has also received Wi-Fi blocking complaints involving other Hilton properties. In November 2014, the Bureau issued Hilton a letter of inquiry seeking information concerning basic company information, relevant corporate policies, and specifics regarding Wi-Fi management practices at Hilton-brand properties in the United States. After nearly one year, Hilton has failed to provide the requested information for the vast majority of its properties. Hilton operates several brands, including Hilton, Conrad, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, and Waldorf Astoria properties.

The Communications Act prohibits persons and companies from maliciously blocking Wi-Fi communications. The Commission has taken three Wi-Fi blocking enforcement actions since last year. In October 2014, the FCC fined Marriott International, Inc. and Marriott Hotel Services, Inc. $600,000 for similar Wi-Fi blocking activities at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. In August 2015, the FCC fined Smart City Holdings, LLC $750,000 for similar Wi-Fi blocking at multiple convention centers across the country. The Commission also recently proposed to fine M.C. Dean $718,000 for apparent WiFi blocking at the Baltimore Convention Center. The Commission again urges hotels, convention centers, and other commercial establishments to review their practices to ensure that there is no unlawful blocking of Wi-Fi communications.

The Hilton Notice of Apparent Liability for forfeiture is available at:
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-1227A1.pdf

A 2015 Enforcement Advisory on Wi-Fi blocking is available at:
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-15-113A1.pdf

PRESS RELEASE SOURCE: FCC

Media Contact:
Will Wiquist, (202) 418-0509
will.wiquist@fcc.gov
 

presley

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In August 2014, the Commission received an initial consumer complaint alleging that the Hilton in Anaheim, California blocked visitors’ Wi-Fi hot spots unless those consumers paid a $500 fee to access Hilton’s Wi-Fi.

That's an extreme amount. I take is that was for a convention that had their own WiFi set up? It's normally only like $10./day for WiFi for guests who have to pay for it.

I hope Hilton and all other chains get huge fines and not wrist slaps for this type of behavior.
 

csxjohn

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That's an extreme amount. I take is that was for a convention that had their own WiFi set up? It's normally only like $10./day for WiFi for guests who have to pay for it.

I hope Hilton and all other chains get huge fines and not wrist slaps for this type of behavior.

I do too. But this fine is for blocking the investigation, not the illegal act of blocking Wi Fi. Hopefully the investigation will bring out what happened and they get fined accordingly
 

1Kflyerguy

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Believe this actually from last year, probably just reaching its final stage with the FCC. Both Marriott and Hilton go in trouble from blocking WiFi hotspots in the convention areas of their hotels..

I know Marriott had claimed they were just trying to protect their customers from the internet..
 

vacationbear

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And then: the WiFi connection in the Lagoon Tower during our stay last month (and for all of our three stays so far...) was VERY speed and spotless!
Noting to complain about!
 
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