FCC Fines Smart City for Blocking Conventioneers' WiFi
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Aug 18, 2015, 11:30 AM by Eric M. Zeman
updated Aug 18, 2015, 2:33 PM
The FCC today levied a $750,000 fine against Smart City for preventing consumers from setting up and operating their own WiFi hotspots in several convention centers around the country. Smart City runs the WiFi services at select conference facilities and charges exhibitors and attendees $80 per day to connect to the internet. According to the FCC, Smart City automatically blocked the personal WiFi hotspots of those who refused to pay the $80 fee despite their being no evidence of a threat to Smart City's own network. In addition to the fine, Smart City has to establish a compliance plan proving to the FCC that it will not engage in WiFi blocking in the future. "It is unacceptable for any company to charge consumers exorbitant fees to access the internet while at the same time blocking them from using their own personal WiFi hotspots to access the Internet," said Travis LeBlanc, Chief of the FCC's Enforcement Bureau. "All companies who seek to use technologies that block FCC-approved Wi-Fi connections are on notice that such practices are patently unlawful." The FCC levied a similar fine against Marriott last year.
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Props, FCC. Props.
They got off light.