Marriott changes tack on Wi-Fi blocking

Marriott changes tack on Wi-Fi blocking

Hotel giant Marriott International has bowed to demand from guests and confirmed it will no longer block personal Wi-Fi kits.

Marriott had previously claimed it would block devices in conference facilities, arguing it was within its rights to do so on security grounds.

The United States Federal Communications Commission had launched an investigation into the practice in March 2013.

The decision followed a tip from a hotel guest who said they had been unable to connect to the net via a mi-fi device at the Marriott Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Centre.

Following the investigation the firm was fined $600,000 but did not change its policy on such devices, claiming they exposed users to malicious software.


The FCC described the action as “unacceptable”.

Marriott has in the past charged conference attendees between $250 and $1,000 per device for internet access.

However, in a statement today, the company said: “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. 

However, Marriott refused to accept defeat on the issue and said it would continue discussions with the FCC.

The statement 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.”