Statement on Commercial Establishments Blocking Wi-Fi
Jan. 28, 2015  |   Wireless Innovation Alliance

The Wireless Innovation Alliance (WIA) released the statement below on yesterday’s FCC Enforcement Advisory, which stated that blocking Wi-Fi in commercial establishments, including hotels, is explicitly prohibited.

“The Wireless Innovation Alliance applauds the FCC for telling Marriott International, Inc. – and everyone else – that it is illegal to interfere with lawful communications.

In October, the FCC found Marriott’s Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center to be guilty of blocking guests’ personal Wi-Fi hotspots and fined Marriott International $600,000. But Marriott doubled down, arguing in a petition to the FCC that they should be able to block consumers’ Wi-Fi.

As the FCC has said before, and was forced to say again: blocking legal communications from wireless users is unequivocally wrong. Unlicensed spectrum is our best bet for wireless innovation; it supports billions of dollars of economic activity every year and serves as an essential on-ramp for communications through services like Wi-Fi. No one should interfere with it.

WIA commends the FCC on this action and for its continued commitment to the critical role of Wi-Fi, and the unlicensed spectrum that powers it, in our innovation economy.

We look forward to continuing our work with the Commission to ensure our nation’s unlicensed spectrum resources are protected so that the U.S. can continue to lead the world in wireless innovation.

For more information, please review the FCC Enforcement Advisory here. Chairman Wheeler’s comments on this issue can be found here.

ABOUT WIA
The Wireless Innovation Alliance (WIA) is a broad-based group of innovators, providers, consumer groups, think tanks and education organizations that believe that more efficient use and expanded access to the nation’s spectrum resources are fundamental to the future of U.S. economic policy and global competitiveness, and that we face potential spectrum scarcities in both licensed and unlicensed bands that must be addressed in order for innovation and investment to move forward. Please visit us to learn more at www.wirelessinnovationalliance.org.

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