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Best and Worst of Hotel WiFi

I can't say I disagree at all with Hotel Chatter's annual Hotel WiFi's Best & Worst Report at all. My favorite hotel chain, the upscale Hyatt ANDAZ is number one. I've been staying in the London Andaz practically every three months or so for the past two years and have spent many a memorable number of days there. One of the reasons is the fantastic WiFi. Same in NYC where the Andaz just opened in the Wall Street area. They use a service called interTouch, which is owned and operated by DocomoNTT out of Japan. Yup, the same folks who used to be in partnership with AT&T in the Mobile phone world many years ago.

If you notice, the major hotel groups, Marriott, Sheraton and Hilton didn't fare very well. That's because for the most part they have farmed out their WiFi to a few companies that work with the in-room entertainment suppliers and are running connectivity the most cost efficient way possible, vs. actually sitting down and figuring out how to do it right. Additionally, the capacity needed for quality WiFi, and quality Internet connectivity keeps going up, as more guests and more meeting attendees usage rises. Ten years or so the average hotel saw no more than ten percent usage per night based on the number of registered guests, so a T1 was likely more than enough. Now, that usage is north of 60 percent, and in markets like NYC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Seattle more than likely closer to 80 percent.

Hotels, even with 20 megs of connectivity are suffering from being underpowered, and also challenged by improperly positioned WiFi access points, as well as the growing number of P2P (peer to peer) clients running on guests computers. More and more guests are also downloading music and videos using Apple's iTunes, the BBC's iPlayer and of course a few other apps for services we won't mention.

So it's more than just the WiFi, its also the size of the pipe that matters. Oh. that fits in what we won't mention.......

Well anyway, it's great to see someone is keeping score. I for one have demanded better connectivity in hotels. I treat Internet access and WiFi like hot water. If you don't have hot water, the stay is usually free. Well the same goes for me if I don't have solid access and fast speeds of at least half a meg in both directions. You have a choice in where you stay. Stay where you can have hassle a free Internet life.


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