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December 24, 2014

Microsoft, Google team up against hotel industry for blocking Wi-Fi

The petition was filed by Marriott International and American Hospitality & Lodging Association.

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft and Google have joined forces with wireless industry’s lobbying group to oppose the petition filed by the hotel industry that seeks to block customers’ personal Wi-Fi devices at their properties.

Earlier this summer, Marriott International and American Hospitality & Lodging Association asked permission from the Federal Communications Commission to use equipment to manage its own network even if it interferes with wireless devices used by guests.

The petition claims that unauthorised Wi-Fi devices can demean Internet performance for everyone and threaten the privacy of its users; hence the Industry seeks to use Cisco’s network-management equipment.

The issue was raised when Marriott International settled the investigation by FCC into a complaint which alleged that at least one of its hotels used communications-jamming technology to disable the personal Wi-Fi hotspots, forcing customers to pay for using hotel Wi-Fi, reported Wall Street Journal.

Google and Microsoft have urged FCC to reject the petition filed by the hotel industry.

Re/Code cited Google’s filing as saying: "Allowing hotels or other property owners deliberately to block third parties’ access to Wi-Fi signals would undermine the public interest benefits of unlicensed use."

Previously Boston’s Logan International Airport tried to ban airlines from offering free Wi-Fi service in airport lounges but the request was denied by FCC.

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