Monday, October 20, 2014


I just caught this in the news the other day.  Signal jamming is considered poor form by most in our industry. At best it's an act of protest, perhaps just a prank.. the rest of the time it's rude, or possibly a crime.  The FCC often reaches for a can of whupass. Actually in 2012 they opened a Jammer Tip Hotline to report such kinds of criminal activities. It's 855-55-NOJAM.

They have been dishing out fine for jamming for years. In 2011 won themselves a $25,000 fine for selling cell jammers online. Citations went out to a number of less overt offenders at the same time. This year CTS Technology received a record 34 Million dollar fine, though they're based in China and it may not be possible to collect. They also hit a Hillsborough County, FL employee 48k, and R&N Manufacturing got hit with a a $29,000 fine. While small compared to the CTS fine, this jamming was just particularly unscrupulous. More here and here.
"...Marriott Hotel Services, Inc will pay $600,000 to resolve a Federal Communications Commission investigation into whether Marriott intentionally interfered with and disabled Wi-Fi networks established by consumers in the conference facilities of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, in violation of Section 333 of the Communications Act"

I think they got off light. They were selling it to conference attendees and exhibitors for as much as $1,000 per device. It's the worst price gouging I've ever seen. Marriott admitted to the violation. They agreed to a $600k fine to settle complaints that they were deliberately and willfully jamming WiFi frequencies to force their guests to pay them for Internet service. Marriott also has to start up ans maintain a compliance plan and file compliance and usage reports with the FCC quarterly for 3 years. Despite the "resolution" Marriott Hotels is still keeping a different public face. Their most recent comment was as follows:
"Marriott has a strong interest in ensuring that when our guests use our Wi-Fi service, they will be protected from rogue wireless hotspots that can cause degraded service, insidious cyber-attacks and identity theft. The Gaylord Opryland protected its Wi-Fi network by using FCC-authorized equipment provided by well-known, reputable manufacturers. We believe that the Gaylord Opryland’s actions were lawful.”

I think they should get a second fine for gall.