The importance of Internet and redundancy at your accommodation facility
Sam Bashiry - June 14, 2011
No matter what size or type of accommodation establishment you are running, more and more guests are choosing accommodation facilities that can keep them connected to their everyday lives, particularly the social Internet savvy Gen Y and the up and coming Internet generation Gen-Z who will be a prime target market in just a few short years. With the introduction of social networking sites, blackberries, and iPhones guests want to be able to upload their holiday pics on the spot, write a blog or tweet about their latest adventure, talk to family and friends and keep in touch for business leaving smaller accommodation providers and those with slow Internet connections out in the cold. Well, providing Internet and even Voice over Internet (VoIP) to customers doesn't have to be difficult or overly costly and will start to pay for itself when guests keep coming back. All you need to do is sit down and work out the best and most reliable option for your accommodation facility and choose an ISP that can give you a business grade solution with no hidden fees to make upgrading your technology over time hassle free.
Wireless Hotspots are often a great way to introduce Internet to your establishment. This can be offered as a free service to patrons as a value added benefit of staying at your motel or a paid service that can provide you with an additional income stream. A Wireless Hotspot is an area within your motel where guests can connect up to the Internet by logging on through your wireless portal. It will let the guest know the charges involved and payment options when connecting so there are no hidden fees. Guest can log on using their laptop, PDA or IP phone making it an easy and convenient solution.
In room Internet
There is nothing quite like providing customers with Internet in the comfort of their own room so they can browse, talk to family/friends or work at their leisure. Providing Internet to each room can be delivered through CAT 5/6 cabling to each room, a DSLAM or even wireless access points.
Splitting your Bandwidth
Typically a 4-5 star accommodation facility will have three separate Internet links to cater for different segments of the hotel: one for the back office; another for guest Internet; and finally a link for the conference centre. This setup has mainly come about due to hotels not being able to get enough bandwidth at a reasonable price to cover all the areas in one connection, particularly since fibre connectivity up until recently has been very expensive and other technology such as shdsl is limited to only 4Mb/4Mb.
Thankfully times are changing, with the introduction of Midband Ethernet (Ethernet over Copper) and Midband Fibre (Ethernet over Fibre) and you can now get higher bandwidth connectivity for a fraction of the price. Midband Ethernet provides speeds of anything between 2Mb/2Mb to 40Mb/40Mb while Midband Fibre provides speed connectivity between 2Mb/2Mb to 100Mb/100Mb, giving hotels a more cost effective and efficient solution for their business.
So what are the advantages of having one large Internet connection into your hotel? Wouldn't this make it hard to restrict each area of the business from saturating the bandwidth making it extremely slow for others? This is where the beauty of bandwidth splitting can assist your hotel in streamlining your bandwidth allocation to different areas of the business, creating greater efficiencies and utilisation of your link.
For example Broadband Solutions can provide you with a 40Mb/40Mb Midband Ethernet connection which can then be split in to 3 segments i.e. 15Mb/15Mb for guest use, 15Mb/15Mb for conference use and finally 10Mb/10Mb for administration back office. The bandwidth can be split anyway you like based on your individual hotels requirements, therefore if you have a major upcoming conference that requires video conferencing and you need 30Mb/30Mb bandwidth for it, then you simply need to contact Broadband Solutions to let us know and we will reconfigure the setup for you so that you have a dedicated 30Mb/30Mb for the conference and the remaining for guests and back office.
Guests never want to hear that your Internet is down as they expect the facilities they looked for in a hotel at the time of booking to be working at all times during their stay. To avoid costly reimbursements and to ensure your hotel is doing everything possible to limit Internet downtime, purchasing Internet redundancy through your provider is a must in this day and age.
Choosing an Adsl2+ or fixed wireless connection as a fail over redundancy option can significantly reduce the chance of outages and impact on your business should your main link go down. This works by the redundancy connection automatically taking over as soon as your router detects an outage on the main link. Once the outage has finished the router will automatically switch back to the main link and resume working as normal.
Put simply Internet connectivity is now more than ever a must in all accommodation facilities, however it is very important that you do not compromise your hotels reputation. Make sure that you partner with a trusted ISP that understands the hospitality industry and its Internet requirements to ensure you are recommended the best possible solution for your hotels individual needs as it will not only save you money but it will give you the flexibility to continually advance and add to the IT & Telecommunications in your hotel to provide you with more bookings and ongoing revenue.
Broadband Solutions is an Australian Telecommunication and Internet Service Provider that specialises in Internet & Telecommunications Technology solutions for the hospitality industry to give you a total solution that is tailored to your business. Our trained Account Managers can provide you with an integrated system that works with your management systems in an easy to understand, no fuss solution. Call us today on 1300 683 000 to see how we can upgrade your systems to become a more efficient and cost effective motel.