Effective Bandwidth Management for Hotels and Resorts

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Wednesday proved to be another informative day at HITEC 2013 in Minneapolis. I attended a session centered on best practices for providing high-speed Internet access to hotel and resort guests. Obviously, much of the discussion focused on bandwidth management, a topic that becomes more relevant daily, as many businesses—especially in the hospitality industry —face the challenge of accommodating an ever-increasing number of connected devices.

One panelist made the observation that leisure travelers are likely using more bandwidth than business travelers. This makes sense when considering the number of personal devices we carry, and the “always on” level of connectivity we’ve become accustomed to. If the average individual brings three devices on vacation, a family of four could have as many as 12 devices in a single room. Multiply this number by 100, 200 or even 500 guest rooms, and the number of connections becomes a little overwhelming. If all log on to the hotel’s network simultaneously, the network could experience major strain, causing guest frustration, and ultimately, dissatisfaction And we haven’t even touched on how staffs could be impacted!

A big consideration for hotels when it comes to high-speed Internet access is determining if and what they’ll charge guests for the service. According to session panelists—representing facilities ranging from five-property brands to global chains—many that initially offered Internet access free to guests saw an immediate need for increased bandwidth.  Which, of course, raised costs for IT services—and consequently, room rates increased. In turn, smaller hotels felt compelled to offer free Internet access in order to compete. And thus began the battle for bandwidth affordability with this guest “perk”. Hotel chains around the country have approached this issue in a variety of ways. Some charge a 24-hour rate for access, while others provide tiered options

As the country’s leading provider of communications technology services to the hospitality industry, we offer a customized solutions for large-scale bandwidth management, for facilities of all sizes. Our Managed LAN/WAN services include real-time monitoring of network operations to proactively identify and remediate bandwidth issues before guests and staff feel a negative impact. This efficient allocation of bandwidth offers cost savings, and the flexibility to scale up or down on demand. From our Network Operations Center, we can monitor bandwidth usage and reallocate at a moment’s notice. For example, if a hotel experiences a sudden influx of guests or hosts a conference with thousands of business travelers using multiple devices, we can easily boost bandwidth in specific areas of the property,

And if guests need Internet service support we’ve got a 24x7 Guest and Staff Help Desk. Guests dial a toll-free number from their room and automatically reach a Windstream help desk technician, dedicated to quickly answering and resolving inquiries.

Are you a hotel manager or IT director seeking the best connectivity solutions for your guests and staff? We can help—just connect with a trusted Windstream advisor