Marriott wants you to know that it's completely done trying to block guests' personal WiFi connections -- it has even given up convincing the FCC to give it permission to do so, a spokesperson told Engadget. The company already announced that it won't be keeping people from using their own MiFis and hotspots in hotel rooms, but its official statement at that time said it "will continue to look to the FCC to clarify appropriate security measures network operators." See, the hotel chain still wanted the FCC to let it continue blocking personal WiFi in its business and convention centers in order to protect guests from rogue internet connections, or so it claimed.
Unfortunately for Marriott, tech juggernauts Google and Microsoft came forward to lobby against that request, though it was the statement issued by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler himself a few days ago that became the final nail in the coffin. In it, he blasted the chain for wanting to go against the Communications Act, which "prohibits anyone from willfully or maliciously interfering with authorized radio communications, including Wi-Fi." So, yes, you should be able to use your phones as hotspots or your MiFi anywhere you want within Marriott's premises. If anybody says otherwise, just show them this statement by Marriott Global Chief Information Officer Bruce Hoffmeister:
Marriott International has decided to withdraw as a party to the petition seeking direction from the FCC on legal Wi-Fi security measures. Our intent was to protect personal data in Wi-Fi hotspots for large conferences. We thought we were doing the right thing asking the FCC to provide guidance, but the FCC has indicated its opposition. As we have said, we will not block Wi-Fi signals at any hotel we manage for any reason. And, as of January 15, we provide free Wi-Fi to all members of our Marriott Rewards program who book directly with us. We're doing everything we can to promote our customers' connectivity using mobile and other devices, and we're working with the industry to find security solutions that do not involve blocking our guests' use of their Wi-Fi devices.
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