Marriott, which is still backpedaling from their $600,000 fine from the FCC for blocking users of Mi-Fi's at their Nashville area Gaylord Resort and Conference Center, is now in the process of introducing content from providers like Netflix, Hulu and Pandora right to guest room tv's. For a fee.
This begs the question, are retailers, hotels, motels, hospitals and shopping malls Internet Service Providers? Are they already that under the current FCC definitions, or will they be under what's likely coming either from them, or from a proposed set of legislation from the House of Representatives that's making the rounds?
In my view, and this is only an opinion, the definition of "provider" would need to be broadened to include retailers, hotels, motels, hospitals and shopping malls as well as any property or entity that provides access.
For example, even though Starbucks has Google (and still some locations with AT&T) providing Internet service, at the end of the day, if Starbucks wanted to block traffic to say, dating sites or a set of URLs, such as local coffee roasters, they could. Going one step farther, if the hotel is providing paid access to Netflix, they could block subscribers, or downgrade the speed of Netflix being received over Wi-Fi to an iPad or laptop if the content was coming over their network.
These examples would thus make retailers, hotels, motels, hospitals and shopping malls as well as any property or entity that provides access an ISP.