Marriott Won’t Be Blocking Personal Wi-Fi Devices From Now On
I am one of those people who don’t really like using public Wi-Fi connections offered by various restaurants and hotels. For me, it’s a trust issue and I feel safer using my own Wi-Fi device. However, what about if using our own device isn’t an option?
The name Marriott isn’t unfamiliar to anyone, it’s one of the biggest hospitality companies in the world. The hotel chain recently started blocking personal hot spot devices and networks in the name of security and forced customers to pay for access to the hotel network.
But it looks like things have finally changed and after some protests from the guests and wireless industry, the company has raised a white flag.
Marriott International issued a statement Wednesday and admitted defeat, by saying they will no longer block personal devices at any of their hotels.
In their own words:
Marriott International listens to its customers, and we will not block guests from using their personal Wi-Fi devices at any of our managed hotels. Marriott remains committed to protecting the security of Wi-Fi access in meeting and conference areas at our hotels.
They further added:
We will continue to look to the FCC to clarify appropriate security measures network operators can take to protect customer data, and will continue to work with the industry and others to find appropriate market solutions that do not involve the blocking of Wi-Fi devices.
American Hospitality & Lodging Association and Marriott International recently asked permission from the FCC for blocking personal Wi-Fi hotspots on hotel properties. This was done due to some concerns over malicious hacking networks.
Many believed that the hotel industry was simply trying to earn some extra profit by blocking their personal Wi-Fi hotspots. Last year, Marriott was even fined $600,000 by the FCC for the same reason.
But it argued at the time that it hadn’t broken any law and that the hotel was merely using the monitoring system to protect guests from “rogue wireless hotspots that can cause degraded service, insidious cyber attacks and identity theft.”
Wireless industry, along with Google, Microsoft and the Consumer Electronics Association, opposed the proposal and retort that such action was against the public interest.
The change of policy by Marriott means that the pressure from the opposing forces was just too much for company to handle.
How do you feel about this policy change from the massive hotel group? Let us know of your thoughts in the comments section below.