Forget the hotel Wi-Fi. Now that the Federal Communications Commission is cracking down on hotels and other businesses trying to force you to use their networks, it's time to consider a more secure way to connect to the Internet.
The FCC warned businesses Tuesday that Wi-Fi blocking violates the Communications Act, and it's an illegal move that it will be "aggressively investigating."
"Protecting consumers from this kind of interference is a priority area for the FCC enforcement bureau," said Chairman Tom Wheeler in a statement.
Wi-Fi blocking made
According to the American Hotel and Lodging Association, just 11 percent of hotels charge for in-room Internet access, down from 23 percent in 2012. Fees can vary widely, with prices starting as low as $4 per day, or ranging up to $25 as part of a broader resort fee.
Some properties offer basic access for free, with a charge for more bandwidth; at Marriott, Rewards club members get free basic access and can pay $5 to $7 per day, depending on the market, for premium access.
The hotel group later petitioned the FCC for the ability to block guests' personal Wi-Fi. "Marriott has a strong interest in ensuring that when our guests use our Wi-Fi service, they will be protected from rogue wireless hot spots that can cause degraded service, insidious cyberattacks and identity theft," it said in a statement after the October ruling.