WTF, Best Western + Facebook?

I was going to post saying that I'm really liking Best Western these days.

But then yesterday morning, my wired Internet connection from my hotel room suddenly stopped working. The IP address disappeared.

So I switched to wireless, and that worked fine for nearly 24 hours, when this morning the same thing suddenly happened.

So even though I'm checking out imminently, I thought I should let them know that their Internet connections from this room were broken. So I called their helpdesk.

And I spoke to a very friendly and competent guy who explained to me that the Internet was working fine, it was just that my machine had been banned.

WTF?, I said, though much more politely.

He explained that using filesharing apps like BitTorrent can cause a MAC address (aka Ethernet address) to be banned from their network.

I explained that I don't use those apps.

He explained that using MySpace or Facebook can also cause a MAC address to be banned from their network.

WTF?, I said, though again much more politely.

He explained that the way Facebook does Internet connections looks to their network management system like filesharing/BitTorrent.


So, word to the wise: if you stay at a Best Western, don't use one of those ~super-high-bandwidth disruptive applications~ like Facebook, or your computer might be banned from their network.

The upside was that the guy was way more knowledgeable and tech-savvy than other hotel-related tech-support people I've talked with, and he was friendly and apologetic. But it's a ridiculous situation. I asked him if he could request that it be documented, but of course that doesn't really solve the problem.

It looks like Best Western's tech (at least in Montana) is handled by a company called e|communications+networking. Maybe later when I have more time I'll follow up on this.

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