Published on Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Hilton faces fine for wi-fi jamming

Hilton Worldwide is facing a $25,000 fine for allegedly obstructing a US investigation into claims that it blocked guests from using their own wi-fi hotspots at some of its hotels.

The Federal Communications Commission in the US has also fined wi-fi provider M C Dean $750,000 for blocking delegates' signals at the Baltimore Convention Center for two months in 2014.

"Consumers are tired of being taken advantage of by hotels and convention centers that block their personal Wi-Fi connections," said Travis LeBlanc, head of the FCC's enforcement office.

"This disturbing practice must come to an end. It is patently unlawful for any company to maliciously block FCC-approved wi-fi connections."

Hilton disputed the FCC allegations, saying it had fully cooperated with the investigation.

"Hilton supports open access to private wi-fi networks for our customers through their personal devices, while at the same time protecting their personal information," a Hilton spokesperson said in a statement. 

"We have a policy in place that states our commitment to secure open access and prohibits hotels from blocking wi-fi, and it is repeatedly communicated to all properties."

The FCC fined Marriott $600,000 last year for blocking guests' mobile signals at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville.

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The recent insolvency of Low Cost Travel Group, one of the large players in the travel industry had a big impact on the travelers, hotels and all related players from both wholesale & retail arms. There were about 27,000 people on a holiday who had booked through the company comprised of a €200 million wholesale arm and €500 million OTA / retail arm.