Smart City Holdings LLC seems to have run afoul of the FCC with its hotspot blocking tactics. Smart City provides Wi-Fi for hotels and convention centers. Earlier today, the FCC hit the company with a $750,000 fine for violating carriers’ right to operate.
The fine stems from an instance in June 2014 where Smart City used spectrum interference to block users from using their hotspots at a convention. The company is known to charge users $80 a day to use its networks. As one can gather, convention goers using their own Wi-Fi would cut into the company’s possible profits.
As expected, Smart City says that it didn’t do anything wrong as hotspot blocking is a common practice among companies that provide Wi-Fi service for events. The company said that it stopped blocking personal Wi-Fi in October 2014 after being contacted by the FCC.
The terms of the settlement also notes that Smart City would halt its attempts in blocking Wi-Fi in the future. While it doesn’t mean Smart City would be out of the network service for conventions business, being barred from blocking personal Wi-Fi would knock a pretty lucrative wheel out of its operation.