Business Report: 1/5/15 - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Business Report: 1/5/15

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The major hotel chains are fiddling with their policies on WiFi. You may like some changes but not others.

As you know, until recently most of the chains have been charging either for all WiFi or fast WiFi. In recent weeks Starwood, Marriott and Holiday Inn have rolled out new programs where WiFi is free but only if you book your stay on their own websites.

Only one chain, Hyatt, has gone the route of free WiFi for all. Hyatt says it no longer considers WiFi an amenity, but rather something basic, like a shower curtain.

But while all this is going on, the New York Times reports Marriott, with the backing of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, has been seeking regulatory permission to do something else.

It's asking the FCC for the power to block your own wireless WiFi so you HAVE to use theirs. The request is based on a technical difference between yours and theirs, the fact that theirs uses an assigned frequency.

If that sounds dumb, congratulations, you've understood this perfectly.

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