Although the WiFi jamming complaint against the resort long predated ILTA14, it strikes me as ironic that the Gaylord Opryland hosted ILTA14 (and ILTA11). Surely that’s one group of conference visitors you’d not want to anger.
[eta: further updates to come. Jamming was not in effect at ILTA2014]
Vendors & attendees: MiFi devices are interfering with the resort’s wireless service. Please turn off any MiFi/Hotspot device. #ILTA14
— Clay Gibney (@claylg) August 20, 2014
Starting with a March 2013 complaint, the FCC was investigating activities at Marriott’s Gaylord Opryland
MARRIOTT TO PAY $600,000 TO RESOLVE WIFI-BLOCKING INVESTIGATION
Hotel Operator Admits Employees Improperly Used Wi-Fi Monitoring System to Block Mobile Hotspots; Agrees to Three-Year Compliance Plan
“Consumers who purchase cellular data plans should be able to use them without fear that their personal Internet connection will be blocked by their hotel or conference center,” said Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc. “It is unacceptable for any hotel to intentionally disable personal hotspots while also charging consumers and small businesses high fees to use the hotel’s own Wi-Fi network. This practice puts consumers in the untenable position of either paying twice for the same service or forgoing Internet access altogether,” he added.
In March 2013, the Commission received a complaint from an individual who had attended a function at the Gaylord Opryland. The complainant alleged that the Gaylord Opryland was “jamming mobile hotspots so that you can’t use them in the convention space.” After conducting an investigation, the Enforcement Bureau found that employees of Marriott, which has managed the day-to-day operations of the Gaylord Opryland since 2012, had used features of a Wi-Fi monitoring system at the Gaylord Opryland to contain and/or de- authenticate guest-created Wi-Fi hotspot access points in the conference facilities. In some cases, employees sent de-authentication packets to the targeted access points, which would dissociate consumers’ devices from their own Wi-Fi hotspot access points and, thus, disrupt consumers’ current Wi-Fi transmissions and prevent future transmissions. At the same time that these employees engaged in these practices, Marriott charged conference exhibitors and other attendees anywhere from $250 to $1,000 per device to use the Gaylord Wi-Fi service in the conference facilities. [emphasis added]