back to article Hilton, Marriott and co want permission to JAM guests' personal Wi-Fi

Top hotel chains want permission in the US to disrupt guests' personal Wi-Fi hotspots – a move that would force people to use expensive hotel wireless instead. The hoteliers, including Hilton and Marriott, have urged US watchdog the FCC to allow them to cripple mobile hotspots because, they claim, such devices interfere with …

  1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Well if it is not about money making but good cooperative networking practice, how about they offer free wifi so said hotspots are not needed?

  2. Khaptain Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Jammers ???

    I thought that jamming wireless signals was illegal or are the hotels above the law?

    1. Christian Berger

      Re: Jammers ???

      If they were above the law they wouldn't try to change it.

      1. Christian Berger

        Re: Jammers ???

        BTW, we are faced with the problem here that they want to change the law to something that we all think is wrong. It's like with banksters, they (mostly) don't break the laws, the laws are just plain wrong. In a democracy the laws now must be changed.

        1. Robert Helpmann??

          Re: Jammers ???

          The hotels are really just trying to help lawmakers keep up with current practice. The law suits mentioned in the article are simply instances in which they got caught. Preventing guests from using their own internet service is SOP for hotels. As was pointed out by a fellow commentard, high-end hotels want to charge for everything they can. Sadly, in this case they are hawking substandard service with atrocious security built in.

          1. Dr. Mouse

            Re: Jammers ???

            While I do think they are doing this for the money, I can see it from a network management point of view as well. We attended a (non-technical) trade show a couple of years ago, and every man and his dog had their own Wifi set up for their own stand. This made wifi unusable, both for the exhibitors and for the visitors.

            The next year, the show operator said no individual wifi. They invested a lot in decent wireless comms, and told everyone they must use that. They would even set it up so it dropped directly into your own stand's network. Things went a lot more smoothly.

            The difference here is that they offered it free, both to guests and to exhibitors. If these hotels did the same (or at least charged a reasonable amount) they wouldn't need to de-auth people.

            1. Tom 13

              Re: difference here is that they offered it free

              No they didn't, they just included it in the price of attending the convention. Although I'll grant most people don't quite see the difference.

              Depending on the location and the terms of the rental contracts, the use of personal wifi can be excluded in meeting locations. And you're right, money is always a part of it. It's just a question of whether or not the payment is reasonable given the circumstances.

        2. BillG

          Re: Jammers ???

          BTW, we are faced with the problem here that they want to change the law to something that we all think is wrong. It's like with banksters, they (mostly) don't break the laws, the laws are just plain wrong. In a democracy the laws now must be changed.

          In a democracy, the winner is whomever has the most money.

          In this case, the winner will be the side that has the best lobbying group, regardless of the law. I know, it sucks, but that's the world we live in.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Jammers ???

            In a democracy, the winner is whomever has the most money.

            In English, that final pronoun is in the nominative case, and so the preferred word is "whoever".1 "Whomever" is false elevation.

            "[whoever] has the most money" is a dependent clause, in which "whoever" is the subject. Thus nominative case, regardless of how the clause acts as a unit in the larger sentence.

            And even if the pronoun's case weren't the determining factor here, the verb in this case is the copula, so the predicate is a predicate nominative and not an objective phrase, and so it still takes the nominative case. The only object in the whole sentence is the noun phrase "the most money".

            English grammar and usage are really very straightforward once you memorize a whole bunch of rules and carefully analyze the structure of every phrase and sentence.

            We now return you to your regularly-scheduled complaining about hotels.

            1Some damned prescriptivist is likely to complain either that the pronoun is, in fact, incorrectly in the objective case; or that "preferred" should be replaced with something stronger. The first claim is incorrect - case is determined by grammatical use, not by whether the standard (or "correct") inflection is used. The second is just the prescriptive fantasy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Jammers ???

      Technically, sending de-authentication packets isn't jamming. I wonder how they'd like it if wireless software added a switch that allow ignoring de-authentication packets?

      1. Fluffy Bunny

        Re: Jammers ???

        Although technically, sending de-authentication packets isn't jamming, it has the same effect, that is preventing devices from communicating with each other. Note that the hotel isn't using these devices to manage it's own network equipment, but those of it's customers. Therefore they are interfering with the proper operation of other people's communications services, which has to be against some law.

        It's not as if the Ts&Cs of the hotel residency explicitly authorise the hotel to do this, is it?

        1. Tom 13

          Re: Although technically, sending de-authentication packets isn't jamming

          Lawyers make their millions on precisely these technicalities.

          And the sticky bit is that if I own a 50 acre plot with my house in the middle of it, I'm allowed to have all the cell jammers I want in my house so long as I don't jam outside my property. If I jam past it, I'm breaking the law. Hotels occupy an odd semi-private, semi-public spot in the legal world. Hence the FCCs ability to levy the fine and the Hotel's right to challenge it.

          In the end, I think the FCC got this one right and I expect it's what the courts will eventually uphold. It might take a long time though.

      2. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Jammers ???

        But, thereagain, if they can send deauths to other networks, what is to stop some disgruntled nerd from sending deauths to the official network?

  3. Gannon (J.) Dick

    Sleeping Horizontally on a surface with rounded corners

    There's an app for that ! Pay up.

  4. BlackKnight(markb)

    the only place this makes sense to allow is places like hospital, where medical systems are attached wirelessly you wan to be able to shut down any source of interferance quickly.

    Personal hotspots dont have enough power to muscle out enterprise network access points. anyway.

    1. Preston Munchensonton

      Any hospital using wireless for critical systems will get precisely the wrongful death lawsuits they deserve. If it needs to be dependable, you go wired. Despite the advent of WMM and other schemes, wireless LAN technologies have been, are, and will always be best effort only. Anyone who thinks otherwise can't tell their BSSID from their RSSI.

      1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        I'm sure my local hospital isn't the only one to provide free wi-fi hotspots in all the wards....

        1. TonyHoyle

          Wow.. wifi in wards? The local one goes apeshit if they even see a mobile phone switched on on the wards, or any electrical device.. you'll be ejected if you don't switch it off immediately - that that's not on the critical wards either.

          The only internet access is through their overpriced and shitty 'patient line' (which thankfully was completely broken when my wife was last in hospital, as it was £30 a day and that mounts up over a couple of weeks).

          I've quietly scanned a few times and there's no 2.4ghz or 5ghz anywhere even in outpatients, or at least nothing obvious.. they could be using a proprietary protocol of course.

      2. Sir Sham Cad

        wireless for critical systems

        Hahahahahaha! I agree with you absolutely 100%. As someone who manages a Hospital wireless network. However that doesn't take into account clinical requirements for mobility, medical devices at patient bedside, critical heart monitors etc... that we need to accomodate and make work wirelessly.

        As it happens, it can work very well (and does). You just need to invest properly in a top notch wireless network infrastructure, subject to full RF survey etc... beforehand. We use a solution that automatically bypasses interfering networks (and can identify whether the interferer is a rogue AP, XBox, Microwave oven etc...). In case anyone is interested, it's a Cisco CleanAir solution but there are loads of others out there.

        But (and it's a big one - insert your own joke here) for most of these systems there is a wired backup, it's just more inconvenient for the clinical staff to use and takes more time away from patient care.

        Yes, I've broken my own rule on not commenting on something directly related to my job but, hey, it's Christmas.

  5. Haro

    They lost the expensive phone

    Maybe I'm old, but I remember that once the only way to phone outside was through the hotel, and it cost a heck of a lot. But cell phones snuck in and the hotel phone gathers dust. So, they put out the cry "Never Again!". Good luck!

  6. LaeMing

    US hotels want permission to make the US an even less desirable destination than the TSA have already made it.

    1. Paul

      there was a time I visited the USA two or three times a year, then it became two, then one because travelling there is such a hateful experience. Very long lines at immigration, then queuing again through more security, being x-rayed, being fingerprinterd, being treated like a criminal.

      And I suspect I am lucky as I am a typical western white male and less likely to be racially profiled and thus singled out for extra attention. Last year I didn't go at all.

      Total cost to the US economy just for me about $3000 per trip, so up to $9000 a year lost. And I know I am far from the only one.

      1. Graham Marsden

        Damn right!

        I've thought of visiting the States in the past, but there's no way I'm going to go there whilst I'm treated as a Terrorist suspect simply for wanting to do so!

        Meanwhile, of course, the real terrorists are laughing their socks off at the way they've got Uncle Sam dancing to their tune...

      2. VBF

        Well, if I'm going to visit a 3rd world country, I would rather it was a DEVELOPING one......... Just saying!

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          same as us. Kids wanted to go to Disneyland, didn't fancy the US so we went to Tokyo instead. Pleasant flight, pleasant hotel and pleasant (if not crowded) overall experience.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Even for Americans, the TSA has done well in this regard. Yeah.. hotels next and then what.. Starbuck's?

  7. DropBear

    The moment when such "petitions" are even considered for a millisecond instead of being dismissed by the relevant authority in their sleep as they should be, the fight is lost. Then it just becomes a matter of proposing it again and again and again in various forms until at some point it passes...

  8. Cynicalmark

    De auth

    Went to America.....twice and still cannot get over how primitive the place is technologically....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: De auth

      Modern American style capitalism.. give em as little as possible,charge as much as you can... and make damn sure they don't see the good stuff.

  9. Andrew Jones 2

    If the hotels get permission to boot people off a network that the hotel doesn't own, thereby breaking the computer misuse act (or it's equivalent) - then I see no reason for hotels to complain if some people decide to return the favour - and continuously boot all hotel customers off the hotel network. I also see no reason why the mobile phone companies can't sue the hotels - since as a paying customer of my mobile network, including the ability to tether, then the hotels are interfering with a service I am paying for.

    1. Big Ed

      There's a Flipside to this Story that Requires a Comprimise Solution...

      The painful reality is that there is limited channel space and in a convention hotel there can be literally be hundreds of people competing for a limited slice of channel time. And if I pay the hotel for access to their network and maybe pay a premium for access to the higher speeds and I don't realize the benefit of what I paid for, I'm going to be pretty pissed.

      Question for the wireless protocol experts, if 100 people are on a wireless network, and 100 people set up individual Mi-Fi hotspots, do all 200 people have equal access?

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: There's a Flipside to this Story that Requires a Comprimise Solution...

        compromise is free wifi surely? It isn't as if the hotels in question are a budget chain - in fact ive had better services in budget chains/aparthotels. Treat the cause not the symptom.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So I just take a USB cable with me?

    Er, surely then I just make sure I have a USB cable for tethering? Will the same one that I use for charging the phone (as works on all modern EU phones) work?

    Or is it time to bring back infrared between phone and laptop?

    Let's see them try to mess with those.

    1. leexgx

      Re: So I just take a USB cable with me?

      does not help for your devices that lack that option (limited to laptops and some china china tablets that have USB ports)

      1. Phil W

        Re: So I just take a USB cable with me?

        Bluetooth teathering then perhaps?

  11. Frankee Llonnygog

    Hilton, Marriott et al market themselves to business travellers

    Yet want to charge (a lot) extra for wifi. So far my one man boycott hasn't brought them to their knees. One day...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hilton, Marriott et al market themselves to business travellers

      I would be tempted to phone up, book a room (with the right to cancel) then call them up the day before to check something, and "discover" they charge for wifi and cancel the reservation.

      If enough people did that regularly, they might change their policy.

    2. Stephen McLaughlin

      Re: Hilton, Marriott et al market themselves to business travellers

      Having stayed at several Marriott hotels throughout the U.S., I can say in general the nicer the hotel is, the fewer services you will receive for free. In addition to wifi, there's breakfast, parking, local calls, and essentially no television channels to chose from. As a business traveler though, I was able to expense these costs. But now attempting to block hotspots is going over the top.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Hilton, Marriott et al market themselves to business travellers

        US Television?

        I'll pass thanks. It is all just programme breaks between endless adverts.

        On my last two trips to the US (4+ weeks covering 10+ states) I didn't turn the TV on once.

        If they want to start charging for the TV then that's fine by me as long as I can opt out of it especially the Hotels own channel of inane pap.

        1. keith_w Bronze badge

          Re: Hilton, Marriott et al market themselves to business travellers

          But they won't lower the cost of the room to take that into account.

        2. veeguy

          Re: Hilton, Marriott et al market themselves to business travellers

          Of course Americans don't have to pay a lame ~$150.- "TV tax" each and every year like Brits, do they? Commercials I can ignore, a government tax I cannot.

          1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

            Re: Hilton, Marriott et al market themselves to business travellers

            It's closer to $220, and I broadly agree, however I couldn't watch American tv with the ridiculous amount of adverts.... It's whatever you are used to, I guess.

      2. Shoot Them Later

        Re: Hilton, Marriott et al market themselves to business travellers

        We spent a night in a Four Seasons in the US on honeymoon. They wanted $7 for the (not very fancy) printed map of the local area that was left in the room (i.e it was a minibar item). There was no tea/coffee provided in the room, although you could of course order it on room service at suitably expensive prices. We were left wondering what you actually get for your greatly inflated room rate, given that the whole experience compared very poorly to the other (cheaper) hotels on the trip.

        I won't even get on to their wifi cost, in a city with ubiquitous free coverage.

        Upmarket hotels are money extraction machines, or at least they want to be.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hilton, Marriott et al market themselves to business travellers

      It is easy to charge through the nose for something like this for business travellers, because they know it'll be expensed. That's why hotels marketed at leisure travel generally offer free wifi.

      No different than charging higher ticket prices for flying Monday-Friday, versus weekend stays.

    4. nijam Silver badge

      Re: Hilton, Marriott et al market themselves to business travellers

      > Hilton, Marriott et al market themselves to business travellers yet want to charge (a lot) extra for wifi...

      Business travellers don't care, their company pays.

    5. Tom 13

      Re: Hilton, Marriott et al market themselves to business travellers

      You're staying in the wrong Marriott hotels. I haven't paid for wifi in the sleeping area of a Marriott in at least 10 years. Conference rooms are a whole other story, but that's supposed to be covered by the meeting organizer who rented the room. And yes, back in the day I organized a whole lot of conference meetings at hotels.

    6. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Hilton, Marriott et al market themselves to business travellers

      I doubt if Hilton (Paris) would screw me

  12. MrDamage

    Let the petition go through

    Once the hotels have "permission" to interrupt other wireless networks, camp on the footpath outside said hotels with a wifi hotspot. Wait until devices get kicked because the hotel in question is unable to limit their damage to within hotel property, sue them for breach of the computer misuse act, then profit.

  13. 4ecks

    Do wireless signals know the boundaries?

    Unless they turn all their hotels into Faraday cages, what's to stop the de-auth broadcast from interfering with Joe public on the street, the internet café, or other business next door?

    Just wait for the "Willful and Malicious Interference" suits to start flying.

    Money grabbing pickpocket icon ->

    1. Sampler

      Re: Do wireless signals know the boundaries?

      If they turn the hotels into Faraday cages they're not going to need to spam de-auth broadcasts as the phones won't have signals...which means they can bring back overcharging for calls on the hotel phones - seems win win from their point of view, especially as you can get it in paint form - sure the $1,300 per twenty litres will soon pay for itself...

      1. TonyHoyle

        Re: Do wireless signals know the boundaries?

        Some of them already are - I've been in a few hotels where the mobile signal mysteriously dropped to 0 the moment you walked in the door.

  14. K

    "they could also be a security risk"

    Oh so its safer to use a shared WIFI connection rather that your own dedicated hotspot..

    The only counter this is somebody spoofing a hotel SSID, but if your silly enough to use public WIFI without a Firewall or VPN, then you will soon learn your lesson :)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I say do it, they're right.

    And while we're in the mood to pass niche laws to satisfy commercial minorities, let's regulate hotel wifi so that the cost and performance is in line with general ISP industry norms. I would be happy to pay $1 per day for good fast internet. $5/hour for internet that sucks is what I've experienced at most chain hotels.

  16. Mark 85 Silver badge

    After due consideration

    and lobbying ($$$), I'm sure the hotels will get their way. I guess we'll just have to wait to see what Tom says which will probably after the Net Neutrality decision.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Ununited States of North Korea

    Unite. Why fight.

  18. Fluffy Bunny


    ...and mention they could also be a PROFIT risk.

    Fixed it for you.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Money hungry bastards

    1. Print a list of the offending hotel chains

    2. Boycott

    3. Update 1 and repeat

    Travelling is no longer just for the rich and business types.

    In fact, I only choose accommodation that offers FREE wifi, especially when OS.

    Don't get me started on major Hotel breakfast charges!

    1. Dr. Mouse

      Re: Money hungry bastards

      I'm just back from Goa. The hotel we stayed at used to charge for Wifi. It wasn't too expensive, and was a great service.

      They have recently changed this to free. The service quality has gone down the toilet. I struggled to load a web page or check email most of the time (unfortunately my boss needed me to check in in case of urgent problems). In addition to this, they allowed only one device at a time, whereas when you paid for it you could pay for several devices. When I needed the net, I had to ask my wife to log out.

      So personally, I would rather choose a hotel with reasonably-priced, good quality wifi over one with free, crap wifi. It's the reasonably-priced bit that Marriot seem to be getting wrong.

      1. Stuart 22

        Re: Money hungry bastards

        I never book a hotel that doesn't offer free wifi. I expect the performance to be in line with the price I pay for the room. The budget hotels do surprisingly well. If I am satisfied I mention it in my TripAdvisor review.

        I always check TripAdvisor before I book for those 'slow' wifi remarks. Unsurprisingly I can't remember the last time I had a bad hotel wifi experience. But then I operate in a (bling blanded) Hilton/Marriott free universe. There are benefits to not being a banker or ICANN board member.

        1. Dr. Mouse

          Re: Money hungry bastards

          I guess it depends on your needs. Personally, on a holiday I am not bothered about having internet access. If I had arrived and there was no net, I would have texted my boss and told him I was uncontactable (unless he allowed me to expense phone calls and texts).

          When it comes to business trips, I do need internet. However, then I have no problem with paying for it, as it gets expensed to the company.

        2. leexgx

          Re: Money hungry bastards

          in the UK most B&B/small hotels use The cloud wifi witch is free after reg or login (very rare some use O2 Wifi witch is free and branded BT wifi normally free but sometimes is not, if its just BTwifi its not free)

          its recommended you use a VPN if using a free wifi and paid wifi at any location (especially if its BT wifi as they force google to not Use SSL)

    2. Tom 13

      Re: I only choose accommodation that offers FREE wifi

      It's never free, the cost is baked into the cost of the room. It might actually be cheaper if it was a separate charge.

  20. Adam 1

    Another solution is for hotel booking sites to include WiFi charges in the headline rate unless the hotel forgoes deauthing shenanigans.

  21. tom dial Silver badge

    While I certainly am not in favor of allowing the hotels to disrupt a private wireless network operating within their bounds, I think it fair to to note that in Utah most of the Marriott hotels (39 of 42) and Hilton hotels (29 of 34) offer free high speed internet service in the rooms. Those that do not seem, as several earlier posters noted, to be oriented to high end, business, and convention customers, so they might have it in mind to soak them a bit more, or separate internet service from the lodging part of business per diem allowances.

    The US Government, and probably state governments and many larger corporations, distinguishes lodging, meals & incidentals, and separately reimbursable expenses such as taxis, with inflexible limits on the first two. My memory has it that internet service was a separately reimbursable expense for US government travel, and since the lodging and m&ie allowances were none too big, charging the internet service separately allowed the hotels to charge government rate for the room and make up some of the difference between that and and their normal room charge with overpriced internet service.

    And it seems possible that there might be marginally valid justifications for exercising some central control of large users for such things as conventions and trade shows.

  22. Avatar of They

    Or another angle.

    If it becomes law, the hotel chain that doesn't do it wins the competition for market share by grabbing all customers. Surely?

  23. Amorphous


    Hotels also want to stop people watching movies (on the hotel's TV) unless they pay. Chromecast or similar devices bypass this racket.

  24. Jay 2

    Obviously Hilton are worried that people might not want to pay the rather extortionate $25 per day (or whatever it is now) for t'interweb access.

    I was in Vegas a few months ago and there you automatically get charged for the ~$28 per day resort fee, of which the only useful thing is the WiFi. Though I believe it is possible to ask/argue to have it removed or to try it on and get it comp'd. YMMV.

    Like another commenter above said, the more you pay for a hotel room, the less you get thrown in.


    Two can play at that game.

    DNS tunnel out on the hotel Wifi so you don't have to pay the extortionate charges, De-auth any macs that aren't my spoofed one and set up my own Wifi network with the hotels SSID and provide the free WiFi the hotel should be providing in the first place to anyone in range.

    They're playing a dangerous game which is sure to escalate quickly and frankly my Wi-Fu is better than theirs.

  26. Harry the Bastard

    i travel a lot on business and don't pay for the wifi, it becomes another freebie, like bottles of water, lounge access, fluffy robe etc., this will be the case for any regular business traveler

    for infrequent/leisure travellers it's more likely that they'd face a charge (and more likely they paid a knock-down room rate), but it is becoming much more common for wifi to be either free or tiered with basic free and a charge for high bandwidth

    setting up personal hotspots may seem innocuous, but it's also a great way to lure the innocent onto a wlan where the intent is to capture traffic or carry out man in the middle attacks

    there are both passive and active countermeasures that can be taken, but use of automatic deauthentication needs careful consideration, restrict it to devices that are spoofing mac or ssid, as these are clearly not the work of the casual surfer

    in high density environments enough hotspots will degrade/disrupt the legitimate site wlan, in trade shows etc. the issue is more likely to be from proper access points rather than mobile devices, in which case triangulation or wandering around to find them and have a word is a better option

    clearly some hotels do see wifi as an extra revenue opportunity, personally i'm ok with that as long as the price is reasonable (which not all are!), it's not a free world

    imho using personal hotspot in room seems ok, but in areas used others but there are legitimate security and performance reasons to limit their use

  27. Trollslayer

    Other networks?

    They can deauthorise people using and other network outside the hotel unless they have made sure their signals do not extend beyond the property line.

    Anyone got a lawyer's phone number top hand?

  28. Slx

    I assume the hotels will be able to install special laws of physics overriding devices that prevent their jamming signals disrupting services in neighbouring buildings and adjacent areas?

    We all know how easy it is to tell radio waves to remain within a particular building.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boycott those hotels

    Currently sitting in a 5* hotel that charges $12 a day for wireless access, amazing that the more expensive a hotel, the more the wireless costs. In NYC I've be asked for over $25/day; I get my entire unlimited internet and phone for a month for that at home!

    Support and give a little of your bandwidth away, and lets march with our feet and wallets and make wi-fi ree eveywhere.

    1. Mike Flugennock

      "...give a little of your bandwidth away..."

      "...Support and give a little of your bandwidth away, and lets march with our feet and wallets and make wi-fi ree eveywhere."

      Y'mean, like, throw my house wifi wide-open to any stranger in the neighborhood?

      Oh, yeah, what a glorious new day it'll be when any goddamn' rando on the street can logon to my house wifi, pwn all the computers in the house, sniff all our packets, steal our passwords and credit card numbers and just generally fuck our shit up.

      Sure, that'll happen.

    2. TonyHoyle

      Re: Boycott those hotels

      It does seem that way.

      A couple of years back I had the chance of the Hilton for one price on special offer and a 'cheaper' hotel for the same price. I took the Hilton offer.

      They then proceeded to charge for *everything*. Parking.. (first time I've *ever* had to pay extra for parking at a hotel), breakfast, even though the offer said 'included', wifi was a stupid price, 1 channel of TV and everything else extra, the bar and restaurant were eyewateringly expensive, etc.

      I've never been back. Nowadays I always look for the place with reasonable wifi first and avoid the 'well known' brands.

  30. ukgnome

    expensive hotel wireless?????

    You guys are going to the wrong hotels.

    Or maybe I am going to the right ones.

    I have never paid for WiFi in a USA hotel but have been rinsed for cash over in blighty.

  31. Charles Smith

    I support the hotels

    I think the hotels' proposal should be given approval, subject to the condition they are not allowed to charge for access to their own WiFi networks.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just dirty Biz operators

    I've also seen hotels that intentionally drop Wi-Fi connections every 15-20 minutes to discourage use when it's not a pay-to-use service.

  33. Scott 40

    Flaw in the WiFi specs?

    This points out a flaw in the WiFi spec. Why can a node that is not an authenticated member of your network force your nodes off? If they want to send deauth packets to NICs that are connected to their network that don't belong, that is their prerogative, and the protocol should allow that. But why should a NIC accept and act on a deauth packet from a foreign node? Is there a legitimate use for this?

    And a truely rogue NIC that is there for nefarious purposes will likely have its driver modified to ignore deauth packets anyway.

    1. Adam 1

      Re: Flaw in the WiFi specs?

      Yes it is a design flaw in the spec. It has been changed so I doubt this technique will work in 10 years time. Just needs to be practical to drop support for the older protocol versions.

      See here

  34. Kev99

    Bovine excrement!

  35. spacecadet66

    "Hilton Hotels explicitly denies that the petition is more about selling expensive Wi-Fi packages rather than good network practice."

    Bull. Shit.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why is this unreasonable?

    I can see that it would be troublesome if the hotel tried to interfere with the connection between your device and your mobile/cellular provider.

    Preventing guests from setting up Wi-Fi Access Points (personal Hot-Spots) on your premises seems reasonable.

    There are only 11 Wi-Fi channels in the 2.4 GHz band and you can't run more than 3 of them in the same area - they will interfere. (I'm skipping over the 5GHZ band and channel-bonding to keep it simple).

    Having guests put up Wi-Fi hot-spots of their own will interfere with the hotel's ability to provide (free or paid) Wi-Fi on their premises.

    Or am I missing the point? Are the personal Wi-Fi hotspots so low-power that each hotel room could run it's own without interfering with those in the other rooms - or with a hotel provided Wi-Fi service?

  37. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    "As Wi-Fi becomes increasingly popular for connecting to the Internet, it is imperative that the Commission clarify the rules of the road for Wi-Fi network operators,"

    It's clear. FCC Part 15 section 5: "(a) Persons operating intentional or unintentional radiators shall not be deemed to have any vested or recognizable right to continued use of any given frequency by virtue of prior registration or certification of equipment, or, for power line carrier systems, on the basis of prior notification of use pursuant to § 90.35(g) of this chapter.

    (b) Operation of an intentional, unintentional, or incidental radiator is subject to the conditions that no harmful interference is caused and that interference must be accepted that may be caused by the operation of an authorized radio station, by another intentional or unintentional radiator, by industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) equipment, or by an incidental radiator.

    (c) The operator of a radio frequency device shall be required to cease operating the device upon notification by a Commission representative that the device is causing harmful interference. Operation shall not resume until the condition causing the harmful interference has been corrected."


    That is -- They are not permitted to produce harmful interference. (They are trying to claim forged deauth packets are not interference.) For Devil's Advocate purposes, let's pretend this argument is accepted. They still should not be permitted to do this, because the rest of Part 15 states that nobody (including Hilton or Marriott) has exclusive rights to this band, and that their equipment must accept interference from other devices on the band. Both of these alone are plenty good arguments that Hilton and Marriott are not permitted to try to kick everyone else off these bands.

    I'd like to furthermore point out my computer is very well equipped with software; if you start deauthing me, I *will* detect this and will deauth you, and (if I can) I will crash your malfunctioning access points. I will also file an FCC complaint.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Deauths work both ways.

    Catch me if you can ..... and get ready to refund all that loot when your angry customers can't connect.

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