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Hilton and AT&T Hotel WiFi-About As Fast and Reliable as An iPhone in A Crowded City

I'm all for believing what is in a press release, unless it comes out on April Fools Day, but when two giants in their respective sectors, telecom and hotels, allow a joint press release to be put out, usually that means reality, not fantasy. You see, if I want to read fantasy, I can get all of that from long time author friend Raymond E. Feist, who has penned enough of them to keep any fantasy lover happy.

Back in July the two companies issued an announcement about their efforts to improve their in building WiFi and Internet access. Unfortunately my experiences in Hiltons the past few months overall has been fairly consistent. In a less than stellar way. This past week, my company stepped up as a sponsor of the Wireless Health 2010 conference at the Torrey Pines Hilton. Not only was the AT&T coverage for cellular virtually non-existent, but the WiFi and Broadband overall was to say the least, pitiful. As a matter of fact, it was worse than when DEMO used to use the venue five or six years ago. That was pre iPhone, iPad and Android, and well before pretty much everyone attending conferences needed to get online.

One would think that hotels owned in part by the brand on the marquee would be the first to jump on board with the fatter pipe and better service. But alas, that wasn't to be. What's worse though as someone who posed the question to Hilton's PR folks, both by phone and via email, where I asked to learn what properties have been "upgraded" has yielded as fast of an answer as their broadband.

Over 24 hours later, I'm still waiting.............oh, I guess Hilton's Corporate Internet is supplied by AT&T too, so maybe their PR folks just can't download things fast enough either. But seriously, emails to two different PR managers and a phone call where I was told to whom to ask the question lets me think that speed of broadband isn't all that Hilton needs a speed boost with.

P.S. I too run an agency that amongst many things we do, handles PR. So, take it from a pro of 36 years in this business. Not getting back to a reporter, blogger or analyst in that amount of time, makes the news value of any news announcement, especially one three months old, very less credible, and borders on suspect. My questions are below but the names of to whom I sent them to shall remain private:

1. How many Hilton properties have now deployed/upgraded to the new AT&T High Speed Internet offering announced this past summer?

2. How do they breakdown by Hilton Brand?

3. Which properties have been upgraded?

Sure the release says, "over time" but based on the face to face reaction I got from the property's GM about the need for speed, I doubt his property's time is coming down the pipe any faster.

Comments

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Bhyatt

I recently stayed at the Hampton Inn, St. Joseph, MO. My first problem with the wifi was a weak connection. Desk clerk said I shouldn't have a problem because I was only 15 ft from the nearest node. Then a speed check showed a download speed of 0.37mbps. Confronted with this, I was connected with their tech support. After 20 minutes of back and forth, he did get my speed up to about 1.30 mbps. This lasted about as long as phone conversation. In the course of the conversation, the tech informed me that the user agreement has a clause in it that prohibited streaming video! If it is there, I haven't found it yet, it is a pretty stupid policy in this day and age. Although, due to the very slow speed, it is understandable. As a side note, my 3G connection at the hotel was a little faster. Since AT&T supplies both connections, I find this a little confusing. I also e-mailed my complaint via Hilton's web site and got a nice generic reply.

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