Here’s what the FCC had to say:
“It is unacceptable for any company to charge consumers exorbitant fees to access the Internet while at
the same time blocking them from using their own personal Wi-Fi hotspots to access the Internet,” said
Travis LeBlanc, Chief of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. “All companies who seek to use technologies
that block FCC-approved Wi-Fi connections are on notice that such practices are patently unlawful.”
In providing service at convention centers, Smart City charged exhibitors and visitors a fee of $80 to
access the company’s Wi-Fi services for a single day.
The FCC’s investigation revealed that, if exhibitors
or visitors to the convention centers did not pay this $80 fee, Smart City would automatically block users
from accessing the Internet when they instead attempted to use their personal cellular data plans to
establish mobile Wi-Fi networks – or “hotspots” – to connect their Wi-Fi-enabled devices to the Internet.
As part of the settlement, Smart City will cease its Wi-Fi blocking activities and will pay a $750,000 civil