The world is driven by the connectivity, content and methods of communication the internet has delivered. And it’s absolutely everywhere.
Virtually every public place and method of transport now has some form of connectivity that enables us all to enjoy high speed internet access on our devices, without paying a penny.
If you’re a hotelier, you can no longer get away with rubbish Wi-Fi. There - we said it. And, if you’re yet to upgrade yours, we’d like to offer five myths about hotel internet connections we feel compelled to dispel:
Myth 1: Your current gear will last for ages
Sorry - it won’t.
In the last decade, we’ve seen countless Wi-Fi standard and methods of security arrive, achieve adoption and then be superseded.
Things move on in tech - fast - and if you hang onto your same internet gear for as long as you can, guests will eventually suffer from slower speeds, incompatibility with newer devices and, worst of all, poor security.
Build a Wi-Fi refresh into your budget at least every three to five years.
Myth 2: You can set it up and manage it yourself
Even if you’re relatively tech savvy, you’re still the owner of an independent hotel, and that’s not the sort of job where you have five minutes spare to fix an dynamic IP address issue on your router.
Instead, make sure you invest in the services of someone who can set up and maintain your internet connection. It’ll be one of the best investments you make, because they’ll ensure your connection is configured properly and will be on hand when it all comes crashing down (which it will).
Myth 3: Guests will pay extra for decent Wi-Fi
Take a trip to your local shopping centre and there’s a strong chance you’ll be able to log onto Wi-Fi that’s fast enough for a bout of browsing and video streaming.
It’ll have been free, too, like most Wi-Fi connections these days.
Are you still charging for access to Wi-Fi or offering a paired-down connection for guests who aren’t willing to pay?
You won’t win many rave reviews if so.
Myth 4: Decent Wi-Fi will cost the hotel fortune
Good news: it won’t.
Speak to two or three providers and ask them to quote. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the packages they offer and the various ways in which you can finance the hardware.
Remember - great, free Wi-Fi will make your guests very happy indeed, and if they return, any investment you’ve made in your internet infrastructure will have played its role handsomely.
Myth 5: Guests will bring their own internet connectivity
Granted - most of your guests will have access to smartphones that have 3G or 4G internet connectivity, but don’t assume they’ll use it over free Wi-Fi.
Most simply won’t. Regardless of the connection symbol displayed on their phone, they’ll usually seek an alternative that won’t cost them anything or eat into their data allowance.
Furthermore, people still use laptops and tablets that don’t have built-in cellular connectivity, and they absolutely need a route into the digital domain.
If we still haven’t convinced you to review the Wi-Fi connectivity you provide guests, there’s one last thing you can try.
Take a look at a few random TripAdvisor reviews and make a note of how many contain negative comments about poor internet connectivity. Do you want to number among them?