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Old News Made Fresh @ Fall VON

Hotels Don't Get Broadband Wired or Wireless

I'm growing increasingly concerned as I travel that the hotel operators don't get broadband. They think the idea of advertising High Speed Wireless or In Room High Speed Broadband means install a DSL line offering 1.5 down and 512 up is the way to go.

In the day of two or three people a night using that type of bandwidth and everyone else on dial up that might have worked. But now we live in an always on, need it now, send it to me ASAP world.

People who travel are being asked to review and edit large graphics files, revise PowerPoints or may even choose to listen to their favorite streamed content. Over the past week I have stayed in three Hilton properties. Hilton has been a leader in hotel market in building out high speed in their properties and was the first hotel chain to actually develop a certification program for their properties integrators. Sadly my experience ranged from very good at the Hilton Garden Inn in Philadelphia (though VoWiFi was marginal) to average at the Embassy Suites Financial District in New York City (the WiFi reception would drift in and out depending on which side of the bed I was on, how many people in the room were connected) to the Back Bay Hilton in Boston where the speeds were never greater than 500k down. In all cases the upload paths were horrible as evidenced by the poor quality VoIP had on Skype or even a WiFi phone. While I could hear the other party calling me very clearly (remember how little you really need for Voice) the other party I would be speaking with always made comments about how I sounded.

You see, what worked in 2002 doesn't work in 2005. Demand exceeds the seven users a day and broadband is no longer a guest option for the executive on the go, it's a requirement.

Hotel needs to understand the concept of BandWidth on Demand. They also have to understand that in room wireless and broadband have gone way beyond what they envisioned when they budgeted for it a few years ago. The idea behind Bandwidth on Demand is quite simple. Instead of a fixed and one speed line to the hotel, as demand increases so would capacity. This would insure that when a conference is in the hotel and everyone is connected the speeds don't mimic the cars leaving Houston or Galveston due to Hurricane Rita.

Given some hotels charge for these services as much as $15.95 a day, while others just bundle it into the room rate, the guest has a right to get a true broadband experience, not a sometimes on, sometimes off, sometimes not at all event that leaves you waiting.