The FCC made it clear that blocking or interfering with personal internet devises is illegal, but how do their hot spot regulations impact colleges and universities?

Carl Straumsheim writes for Inside Higher Education:

Waiting for the FCC

College and university chief information officers are unsure of what to make of the Federal Communications Commission’s hard line on blocking personal wireless hot spots and whether it applies to higher education. Nearly a year after the issue emerged, the agency still has yet to clarify.

The hotel chain Marriott International in October agreed to pay the F.C.C. a $600,000 penalty to settle a March 2013 case brought to the agency by an angry guest. While staying at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, the guest discovered the hotel was monitoring the wireless network and jamming signals produced by mobile hot spots. Such hot spots, also known as “mi-fi” devices, convert cellular data into a Wi-Fi signal that users can then connect laptops, tablets and other devices for internet access — thereby avoiding having to pay for hotel Wi-Fi.

“Wi-Fi is an essential on-ramp to the Internet,” the F.C.C. said in the order. “The growing use of technologies that unlawfully block consumers from creating their own Wi-Fi networks via their personal hot-spot devices unjustifiably prevents consumers from enjoying services they have paid for and stymies the convenience and innovation associated with Wi-Fi Internet access.”

In an enforcement advisory published last week, the agency struck an even more confrontational tone.

Read the original article:
Waiting for the FCC (Inside Higher Education)