The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) issued this statement following withdrawal of its petition before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for rulemaking to Interpret 47 U.S.C. § 333, or, in the Alternative, for Rulemaking; RM 1173. The statement was issued by Katherine Lugar, president & CEO of AH&LA.
“Access to technology is a high priority to the hotel sector and our guests. Indeed, as an industry we strongly support – and partner with – technology companies to ensure that our guests’ have access to the latest innovations, including broad access to Wi-Fi. However, with all new technologies come significant challenges.
With some five million people checking into hotels every day, protecting their sensitive data is our top priority as is providing a safe and secure Wi-Fi connection. Our industry identified a critical issue and requested clarity from a governing body – the Federal Communications Commission – to clear up the significant confusion that exists around what tools businesses can use to legally protect guests’ vital personal data. We did not seek to block personal Wi-Fi.
However, it is clear that the petition is not achieving this goal, and that we must work in other ways to resolve this issue of consumer safety and cybersecurity. Consequently, today we are formally withdrawing our petition to the FCC.
To address this issue quickly and comprehensively, we have convened the AH&LA Cybersecurity Task Force to develop practical, market-based solutions and collaborate with our partners in the technology, telecommunications and other sectors as well as with the FCC and other government officials. This is particularly important for those hundreds of thousands of groups conducting meetings, conferences and trade shows in hotels annually – events that require a thorough approach to security.
As many Americans have experienced, cybersecurity attacks are more prevalent than ever before. With some 42 million cybersecurity incidents reported last year that target all types of organizations – a 50 percent increase over the year before – our industry will work swiftly to determine solutions that protect our customers and give them peace of mind when they access the Internet.”
Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee U.S. lodging industry, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides focused advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry generating $155.5 billion in annual sales from 4.9 million guestrooms.
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