Friday, 25 March 2011
Free WiFi or Not free WiFi?
A device that has WiFi enabled, like a laptop, iPad, smart phone, etc, allows the user to connect to the Internet without wires. This is becoming an integral part of everyday life.
Most hotels have provided a Wifi service which is available for purchase such as BTOpenZone or BitBuzz. At the Belmore Court & Motel seven years ago we started to provide a Wifi service through BTOpenZone and Surf2Go. Voucher could have been bought on a hourly or daily requirement.
After 2 years we found a demand for Free Wifi and so I setup our own network for Free Wifi. This involved installing 12 routers throughout the building o ensure all rooms were covered. We manage this technology ourselves. On the whole this has been very positively recieved - even though we need to reset the routers as and when a customer notices the connection has failed.
We are soon coming to a cross road. If we upgrade to a more relaible & efficient external system there is an initial cost for equipment purchase and almost £200/month including newer SuperFast broadband lines to keep a very reliable connection and an excellent support service. I'm not keen on charging customers to use the Wifi but also with the current economic recession I can't build it into the room rate for all guests. All other costs are increasing dramatically and I can't absorb this extra cost.
There are a couple of options:
1) Stay with the current system; Free but not as reliable as it could be.
2) Install new system and charge £8/hour and/or £12/day. Offers excellent reliability and support service.
3) Install new system and give 1st half hour free and the charge rates as per above. Offer excellent reliability and support service.
I would be interested in hearing your thoughts and/or suggestions.