Wireless Access

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Moderator
Posts: 123
Registered: ‎04-17-2009

The FCC has clarified their stance on wireless containment, but many areas are still murky.

You have likely seen the recent FCC announcement that wireless containment is considered illegal.  http://www.fcc.gov/document/warning-wi-fi-blocking-prohibited.  This is a follow up to the action they took against Marriot in the past.  https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-14-1444A1.pdf

 

The short version is that the FCC has determined that Federal law prohibits “commercial establishments” such as hotels and conference centers from containing personal Wi-Fi hotspots that do not pose a security risk to those establishments own networks.  It is unclear whether this prohibition applies to non-commercial entities such as schools or government agencies or whether it applies to “private” portions of commercial entities that are not open to the public.  It also is unclear in what circumstances an enterprise can contain a hotspot that does pose a security risk.

 

Aruba filed a comment asking the FCC to use this as an opportunity “for nuanced balancing of the Commission’s policies promoting unlicensed spectrum, and Wi-Fi in particular, with the needs of network operators to maintain secure and reliable Wi-Fi networks.”  We are disappointed that the FCC did not use this opportunity to clarify what rules govern Wi-Fi, and under what circumstances using Wi-Fi containment technology is allowed.

 

Given the uncertainty surrounding these issues, we urge you to consult your legal counsel before making any decisions on the use of wireless containment technology

MVP
Posts: 1,110
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: The FCC has clarified their stance on wireless containment, but many areas are still murky.

This has been a popular topic at the WLAN Professionals Conference (WLPC) and what I'm hearing is that containment should be acceptable for corporately owned clients.  Never attempt to contain the AP.  The only exception to this being if it's a confirmed rogue device plugged into your network, then you could do wired containment.  I'd say I share the same views and that you're legally within your rights to do this type of containment.  I'm no lawyer though, just a wi-fi nerd! :)

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Moderator
Posts: 123
Registered: ‎04-17-2009

Re: The FCC has clarified their stance on wireless containment, but many areas are still murky.

There are a lot of theories and interpretations of teh FCC notices.  What is clear is that the FCC has not provided clear guidance on what they consider legal and illegal.

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