Saturday, August 22, 2015

♪ Whether Smart City engaged in prohibited Wi-Fi blocking

In re Smart City Holdings, Dkt. EB-SED-15-00018248, Order (Aug. 18, 2015)

"The Enforcement Bureau (Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission has entered into a Consent Decree to resolve its investigation into whether Smart City Holdings, LLC, and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Smart City Networks, LP, and Smart City Solutions LLC (collectively, Smart City) engaged in prohibited Wi-Fi blocking by interfering with and disabling Wi-Fi networks established by consumers at several conference facilities where Smart City operates or manages the facility’s Wi-Fi network. To settle this matter, Smart City (i) admits that it prevented certain Wi-Fi users at these locations from establishing or maintaining a Wi-Fi network independent of Smart City’s network, (ii) will implement a compliance plan under which it commits to not engage in Wi-Fi blocking, and (iii) agrees to pay a $750,000 civil penalty."

"On June 24, 2014, the Commission received an informal complaint from a company that provides equipment that enabled users to establish hotspots, marketing its use as an alternative to paying forWi-Fi service that may otherwise be available to consumers at a venue. The complaint charged that its customers could not connect to the Internet using the complainant’s equipment at several venues where Smart City operates or manages the Wi-Fi access.2 In response to the Bureau’s investigation, Smart City provided information revealing that it automatically blocked certain Wi-Fi users at several venues where it managed or operated the Wi-Fi access to prevent such these users from establishing or maintaining a Wi-Fi network independent of Smart City’s network. No evidence exists that the Wi-Fi blocking occurred in response to a specifically identified threat to the security of the Smart City network or the network’s users."

"After reviewing the terms of the Consent Decree and evaluating the facts before us, we find that the public interest would be served by adopting the Consent Decree and terminating the referenced investigation regarding Smart City’s compliance with Section 333 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act)."

SMART CITY HOLDINGS, LLC, AND ITS WHOLLY-OWNED SUBSIDIARIES, SMART CITY NETWORKS, LP, AND SMART CITY SOLUTIONS LLC. Adopted a Consent Decree and terminated the investigation. Action by: Chief, Enforcement Bureau. Adopted: 08/17/2015 by Order/Consent Decree. (DA No. 15-917). EB   DA-15-917A1.docx  DA-15-917A1.pdf  

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