There is no problem shutting down the wired network port supporting the AP an organization doesn’t want there – that is clearly their network and under their management. What they can’t do is enforce things on the RF side. You are likely correct that nobody has submitted a strong complaint to the FCC until now. Most affected in an enterprise are employees, contractors, or true miscreants. The first two have a vested interest in keeping quiet, the latter is not likely to get much sympathy arguing that their crimes were being thwarted …
They should have taken it one step further - it kicks you off your service, and downloads the Book of Mormon to your drive.
That’s just adding intellectual insults on top of digital injury…
Show up with lots of strange electronics black boxes boxes labeled FCC and see if there people start running around in a panic and IT type people show up soon after?
Okay, I’m happy that the FCC has established certain consumer rights- But:
How is this different from say, a restaurant not allowing you to bring in outside food? The convention center sells internet access on premises- Why should they be required to allow competing services on their own property? Legitimately asking here.
And if they do want to ban outside connections, then isn’t there a free market solution? “Hey- We don’t make you use our overpriced internet service the way that place does- You should hold your convention here instead.” “Oh, you charge for that? Never mind, we’ll go somewhere else.”
It’s an excellent question. We don’t have a federal right to consume food we bring with us wherever we want. That’s governed by state and local rules that allow restaurants to set policy without oversight or that prevent such outside food from being consumed. (There’s a great little chain of beer establishments in Seattle that have a bunch of beers on tap, constantly changing; a rotation of food trucks that park outside; and let you bring in outside food, children, and dogs. It’s perfect.)
In this case, the federal government has reserved to itself the rights associated with the use of spectrum for communications, and this has been judged (and Marriott accepted) that it’s a clear violation of Section 333. The right for individuals or businesses to have unimpeded telecommunications access is paramount.
Now the thing I (nor other coverage) didn’t mention is that it is to my understanding 100% legal under contract law for Marriott or others to state that outside Internet access may not be used for the purposes of connectivity in the exhibition halls. (It would improbable to disallow this in hotel rooms because it would impede individual rights.)
If Marriott staff found someone using a personal hotspot or Wi-Fi router, they could conceivably charge them a fee under the contract or kick them out.
But they can’t use jamming techniques to block it, is the point.
The inside of the hotel looks at least as scary as their IT policies. ISTR I stayed there for a convention back in the late 90s. The fake birdsong coming out of speakers in the fake undergrowth was particularly disturbing.
If you find yourself as an inmate and want to survive with your sanity intact, just take a leaf from Rudy Rucker. Imagine you’re 3 miles below the surface of the moon, and all the other people have an implant in the back of their neck controlling their thoughts.
““Consumers who purchase cellular data plans should be able to use them without fear that their personal Internet connection will be blocked by their hotel or conference center,” FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc said in a statement.”
FCC rules, for instance, prevent landlords from blanket prohibition against satalite dishes, even by contract. It may, likewise, be illegal to prevent you from using your WiFi, even by contract.
The difference is that the airwaves aren’t the hotels property. They are regulated completely separately from real property.
It would be fun to park across from a Marriot and set up a wireless network called free_4_m@rr10t_guests.
Technical point, but LTE can run on the same spectrum (provided it’s free) as 3G technologies like W-CDMA, and it definitely does not travel further or penetrate better. The LTE airlink is actually more fragile than earlier tech, in exchange for higher speeds in good signal situations.
This is often confused, as in the USA, Verizon and AT&T use low-frequency spectrum for their LTE service, partially to offset this deficit.
Does Section 333 also apply to government buildings like high school auditoriums? I know of one in my area that interferes with signals inside.
Deauthenitcating users from what is essentially a rogue-AP has been a feauture of WIPS for at least 4-5 years (if not longer).
Rogue AP’s are a major headache in wifi network management and preventing users from connecting to them (or disconnecting users who have already connected to them) is a smart move from an management point of view.
That appears to be exactly what the Marriott has done.
The big question is who owns the airspace/spectrum inside their hotels?
If companies can use this technology to stop people from connecting to rogue AP’s inside office buildings then why can’t a hotel do the same?
Is it because they charge for access?
I would be very interested in reading the actual verdict and supporting arguments for such a serious fine.
It also set a very interesting legal precedent…
Why cannot hotel jam cellphones and doom people to overpriced room landlines?
It’s not, but the response can only be “Please stop doing that or we’ll ask you to leave.”, or perhaps more curtly, “Please leave.”.
It’s not like restaurant owners have the right to forcibly remove the unpurchased food from your mouth.
Don’t give them any ideas!
If you have jammers, we have directional antennas.
Like during the time of listening to Radio Free Europe, aka The Other Propaganda… A common way was wrapping the radio in tinfoil and attaching a long wire laid in a certain direction. Of course if the jammers were directly between you and the radio transmitter, it wouldn’t work so well; otherwise it was good.
Regarding wifi in general, the HTTP (and TCP in general) is often blocked until you register with a key, but DNS is often not filtered. Todo: try out an IP-over-DNS tunneling, there may be even android apps for the client side…
Because people using cellphones does not interfere with the performance or security if the hotels systems.
Mi-Fi type devices can be proven to interfere with the hotels own wifi network, the one that users pay for, so arguably the hotel could have a valid reason to prevent people from using them.
Whether they can do so by the method offered by most WIPS systems is what the really crux of this argument is.
Basically because the EM spectrum is owned and regulated based on frequency and geographic area, not property lines. You do not own the EM spectrum on your property. Verizon and friends own the LTE bands, and the public owns the 2.4 and 5.6 GHz bands. That may speak to why the FCC was willing to do something so apparently anti-business: Marriott was not only disrupting the public ISM band, but was interfering with cell phone customers legitimate use of their services, even if only indirectly. Verizon pays a lot of money and has a lot of clout with the FCC. Hotel management chains? not so much.
What about national chain discount warehouse clubs blocking (or slowing to a crawl) your cell phone internet access? (ie, to prevent price comparison). Is that legal? How can this be detected?