FCC Issues Public Notice Warning about WiFi Blocking
As a response to the many stories regarding Marriott hotels and thier WiFi blocking plans, which we wrote about previously, the FCC has issued a public notice warning about the legality of WiFi blocking. Their notice is captured and posted below, as well as a direct link to the FCC site serving this warning. TLDR version:WiFi Blocking is PROHIBITED, all consumers and businesses included.
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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500
January 27, 2015
Enforcement Advisory No. 2015-01
WARNING: Wi-Fi Blocking is Prohibited
Persons or Businesses Causing Intentional Interference to Wi-Fi Hot Spots
Are Subject to Enforcement Action
In the 21st Century, Wi-Fi represents an essential on-ramp to the Internet. Personal Wi-Fi
networks, or “hot spots,” are an important way that consumers connect to the Internet. Willful
or malicious interference with Wi-Fi hot spots is illegal. Wi-Fi blocking violates Section 333 of
the Communications Act, as amended.
The Enforcement Bureau has seen a disturbing trend in
which hotels and other commercial establishments block wireless consumers from using their
own personal Wi-Fi hot spots on the commercial establishment’s premises. As a result, the
Bureau is protecting consumers by aggressively investigating and acting against such unlawful
In 2014, the Enforcement Bureau conducted an investigation, culminating with a Consent
Decree, into this kind of unlawful activity by the operator of a resort hotel and convention
In that case, Marriott International, Inc. deployed a Wi-Fi deauthentication protocol to
deliberately block consumers who sought to connect to the Internet using their own personal
Wi-Fi hot spots. Marriott admitted that the customers it blocked did not pose a security threat
47 U.S.C. § 333.
Marriott Int’l, Inc.; Marriott Hotel Servs, Inc., Order and Consent Decree, 29 FCC Rcd 11760 (Enf. Bur.
2014). Marriott and other members of the hotel and lodging industry filed a petition requesting guidance
on this issue. See Petition of Am. Hotel & Lodging Ass’n, Marriott Int’l, Inc., and Ryman Hospitality Props.
for a Declaratory Ruling to Interpret 47 U.S.C. § 333, or, in the Alternative, for Rulemaking, RM-11737 (filed
Aug. 25, 2014) (Petition). Comment was sought on the Petition. Consumer & Gov’t Affairs Bureau
Reference Information Center Petition for Rulemaking Filed, Public Notice, RM 11737 (Nov. 19, 2014).
While the Enforcement Bureau recognizes that the Petition questions our position, the Bureau will
continue to enforce the law as it understands it unless and until the Commission determines otherwise.
FCC ENFORCEMENT ADVISORY
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to the Marriott network and agreed to settle the investigation by paying a civil penalty of $600,000.
Following the settlement, the Enforcement Bureau has received several complaints that other
commercial Wi-Fi network operators may be disrupting the legitimate operation of personal Wi-
Fi hot spots. The Bureau is investigating such complaints and will take appropriate action
What is Prohibited? No hotel, convention center, or other commercial establishment or the
network operator providing services at such establishments may intentionally block or disrupt
personal Wi-Fi hot spots on such premises, including as part of an effort to force consumers to
purchase access to the property owner’s Wi-Fi network. Such action is illegal and violations
could lead to the assessment of substantial monetary penalties.
In addition, we reiterate that Federal law prohibits the operation, marketing, or sale of any type
of jamming equipment, including devices that interfere with Wi-Fi, cellular, or public safety
communications. Detailed information about the prohibition against jamming is available on
the Commission’s website at http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/jammer-enforcement.
What Should You Do if You Suspect Wi-Fi Blocking? If you have reason to believe your
personal Wi-Fi hot spot has been blocked, you can file a complaint with the FCC. To do so, you
can visit www.fcc.gov/complaints or call 1-888-CALL-FCC. If you contact the FCC, you are
encouraged to provide as much detail as possible regarding the potential Wi-Fi blocking,
including the date, time, location, and possible source.
Need More Information? Media inquiries should be directed to Neil Grace at 202-418-0506 or
firstname.lastname@example.org. For general information on the FCC, you may contact the FCC at 1-888-
CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) or visit our website at www.fcc.gov. To request materials in
accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format),
send an e-mail to email@example.com or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-
418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).
Issued by: Chief, Enforcement Bureau
All operators, including of a Part 15 device, must comply with the Communications Act, including Section
333, and the Commission’s rules.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 January 2015 )
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
Cradlepoint IBR1100 $75 Mail-In Rebate!
Running now through June 30th, 2015, Cradlepoint is offering a $75 mail-in rebate for customers who purchase a COR IBR1100 router . The IBR1100 is the latest rugged router from Cradlepoint, featuring the ability to run on multiple cellular carriers with its powerful embedded radio.
The IBR1100 is a 3G/4G/LTE networking solution for mission critical connectivity in any environment. Perfect for in-vehicle deployments thanks to its compact size and flexible power options, this solution allows users to scale new deployments quickly and easily. The IBR1100 is rated for extreme temperatures, humidity, shocks, vibrations, dust, and water splash.
The IBR1100 is already a great value, and this $75 rebate only makes the decision to upgrade easier. This is a promotion offered directly through Cradlepint, EVDOinfo and 3Gstore are not involved in the rebate process. To claim your rebate, simply purchase an IBR1100 from 3Gstore before June 30th, 2015. We'll automatically email you a link to download the Cradlepoint claim form, and you must send it in to Cradlepoint along with your receipt by July 31st, 2015.
Large deployments? Cradlepoint is NOT limiting this to a single device. If somebody buys 10 COR IBR1100 routers, they can get the rebate on ALL 10 devices.
Follow our link for more information on the Cradlepoint IBR1100 or watch our introduction video below. Not sure if the IBR1100 is the right choice for you? Contact the experts at 3Gstore and we'll help you with a customized solution to fit your needs!
"With the launch of our next-generation AirLink gateways, customers can purchase a single solution for deployment across many different regions, simplifying procurement and management. It also allows the customer to leverage the growing capacity of LTE networks as they evolve and incorporate different frequency bands to carry increasing traffic," said Emmanuel Walckenaer, Senior Vice President, Enterprise Solutions for Sierra Wireless.
The next-generation AirLink GX450 4G mobile gateway is a purpose-built rugged mobile gateway that provides broadband connectivity for all devices and applications deployed in vehicles, allowing them to be remotely monitored and managed. The AirLink GX Series leads the market in mobile gateways in North America and is widely relied upon by professionals in law enforcement, emergency services, utilities, and field services for in-vehicle connectivity and access to critical information.
The AirLink ES450 4G enterprise gateway provides a simple, secure way to wirelessly manage business transactions and deploy PCI-compliant systems. The AirLink ES450 can support an automatic switchover of transaction processing from a landline connection to the wireless one, notify IT personnel when failures occur, and enable remote troubleshooting of network equipment to restore normal operations. The AirLink ES450, with its expanded LTE band support, will now be available in Australia and Asia as well as through established channels in North America and Europe.
The CloudGate M2M Global Embedded cellular gateway provides LAN to
WWAN routing and GPS functionality in a single basic unit. It is certified on
all major US 3G and 4G LTE cellular operators with their 3G only and 3G/4G models. They can
also be activated on virtually ANY 3G GSM network worldwide!
If you don’t already have a CloudGate, check them out today to see how they may benefit your application. Be sure to conatct 3Gstore’s sales team with any questions you may have!
Last Updated ( Monday, 26 January 2015 )
Friday, 23 January 2015
Google Rumored to Offer Cellular Service Plans
If you are still looking at Google as just a search
engine, its time for a wake up call. Aside from an excellent search with
the well known search site, Google also owns: Google Books, Google
Finance, Google News, Blogger, Picasa, Feed Burner, Dart, reCAPTCHA,
Google Maps, YouTube, and the list goes on. Seriously, check out this
page for a complete list .
What is the next field that
Google is going to expand into? Rumor has it, it is going to be cellular
service. The Information reports that Google will be selling mobile
phone plans directly to end users. The service will supposedly run on
Sprint and T-Mobile networks, giving the carrier a wide reach.
Essentially Google will be purchasing access to the carriers and
functioning as an MVNO, or Mobile Virtual Network Operator. Similar
companies include Boost Mobile, Cricket Wireless, and Freedom Pop.
Google is not going to be building its own new network with thousands
of new cellular towers, instead its going to be reselling access to
existing networks. The large question is, what type of pricing and plans
will be offered? While Sprint and T-Mobile do have large coverage
areas, currently their two networks are incompatible with each other
since they run at different frequencies. How Google plans to run
multiple carriers in the background isn't yet known, if they do use
both, vs just one or the other.
This new Google cellular
service, codenamed 'Nova' is just one of two major Google stories this
week. Google also just invested $1 Billion dollars into
SpaceX, to assist in building a satellite data service.
Last Updated ( Friday, 23 January 2015 )
Wednesday, 21 January 2015
Updated Peplink Balance 710 and 1350 Now Available
The Peplink Balance line of routers are enterprise grade, Multi-WAN solutions. With a feature set and hardware expandable to meet the needs of the power home user or small office, up to the largest businesses and multi-site environments, there is nowhere a Balance router can't be deployed.
The Balance 710 and 1350 are on the higher end of the spectrum with 7 and 13 GbE WAN ports respectively. This allows large companies to deploy and load balance between multiple low cost commodity internet connections, instead of spending thousands of dollars on expensive MPLS or Fiber lines. Supporting 500-5000 users, this high end hardware and its multiple simultaneous internet connections can deliver bandwidth to even the most demanding environments.
With SpeedFusion Bonding, Balance users can also create unbreakable VPNs between other offices as well as combine the bandwidth of multiple internet connections for a single seamless connection. Even as connections drop and come back online, and VPN traffic will be left intact. Large file transfers or VoIP calls won't drop in the event of an outage.
The updated Balance 710 and 1350 hardware now features 3 GbE LAN ports instead of just 1 like older hardware. This means you can easily connect multiple managed or unmanaged switches directly to the Balance, run a wireless access point direct, or simplify high availability deployments. High Availability, or HA Mode, is essentially hardware failover. There is no use in running a massive network with 7+ internet connections if a single piece of hardware can bring down the entire network. HA Mode lets you run a master and slave Balance, and if one fails, locks up, or powers down, the second will immediately take the responsibility of running the network leaving end users with almost no downtime. Even though Peplink routers are known for their excellent reliability and uptime, external factors like power surges or physical damage from water can criple a network for days. What is the cost of losing business? Check out our video on HA mode below, demonstrated with two Balance 380s.
Gogo is an established provider of in flight WiFi services,
spanning multiple airlines and covering a majority of the US. Their
existing WiFi services are built around an air to ground system, built
around existing cellular networks. This means when planes move into
territory with poor coverage and speed, everybody using the Gogo service
on board will suffer.
This newly approved system dubbed 2ku is
built around satellite technology and can sustain significantly faster
speeds than their cellular system. Peak speeds of up to 70Mbps are
expected, and as this satellite technology progresses the speeds could
meet or exceed 100Mbps.
Gogo has stated their new antenna
system is only 4.5 inches tall with a negligible effect on the aircraft,
while also lowering the cost of in flight WiFi, and simultaneously
improving the bandwidth.
A few airlines have already signed
up to try this newly approved tech, including United Airlines. United
will be trialing the new 2Ku on five premium flights between New York,
LA, and San Francisco.
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