FCC on wifi at hotel

Wayne E. Bouchard web at typo.org
Thu Mar 1 20:15:03 UTC 2007

Just to be clear...

While it's kind of hard to restrict radio (along the same lines as
restricting the right to breathe the air in the building... you can't
control what flows through the air), nothing restricts the hotel from
lining the exterior walls with your basic faraday cage preventing
those signals from entering at all. Of course, this also blocks cell
phones, walky talkies, sattelite, and anything else that uses RF for

If they choose to allow any of these signals in, they pretty well have
to allow ALL of them in. (And filtering cell phones esp in a building
where every single interior door is locked could be argued to
interfere with 911 emergency services and be a threat to public
safety.) So the restrictions they're trying to put into place have
more to do with what activities they, as the property owner, allow
you, as a visitor, to engage in while on the premises.  That kind of
grey line rule making can get very tricky to both claim and to

The whole thing is an ooey gooey quagmire that I want no personal part
of. :-)

On Wed, Feb 28, 2007 at 02:35:43PM -0600, Carl Karsten wrote:
> me again.
> So wifi at pycon 07 was 'better than 06' witch I hear was a complete 
> disaster. More on 07's coming soon.
> Now we are talking about wifi at pycon 08, which will be at a different 
> hotel (Crown Plaza in Rosemont, IL) and the question came up: Can the hotel 
> actively prevent us from using our own wifi?
> _maney: although - wasn't the hotel stuck on "our wifi or no wifi" at last 
> report?
> CarlFK: only the FCC can restrict radio
> tpollari: it's their network and their power the FCC has no legal right to 
> that. and no, you show me where they do.  I'm not wasting my day with that 
> tripe -- the caselaw you're likely thinking of has to do with an airline 
> and an airport and the airline's lounge, in which case they're paying for 
> the power and paying for their bandwidth from a provider that's not the 
> airport. We're not.
> I know that there are all sorts of factors, and just cuz the FCC says boo 
> isn't the end of the story, but i don't even know what the FCC's position 
> on this is. google gave me many hits, and after looking at 10 or so I 
>  decided to look elsewhere.
> Carl K

Wayne Bouchard
web at typo.org
Network Dude

More information about the NANOG mailing list