Speed, security top concerns for hoteliers

Comfort Inn & Suites Miami Airport

Hotels at all segments are installing high-quality hardware. Shown here is the Comfort Inn & Suites Miami Airport.Pictured: Hotels at all segments are installing high-quality hardware. Shown here is the Comfort Inn & Suites Miami Airport.

To ensure that a hotel’s network functions as smoothly as possible, hoteliers must make sure that the hardware that’s installed in the hotel is of high quality, said Kevin Dannecker, sales manager, HSIA and telecom for hotel DIRECTV, Internet and phone provider Bulk TV & Internet.

“That will shape your network moving forward,” Dannecker said.

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Additionally, hoteliers should keep good technicians locally available, Dannecker said. “Making sure you always have someone available to maintain and monitor your equipment prevents failure and issues,” he said.

“The speed at which a hotel’s network operates is the No. 1 issue,” said Dick Sherwin, CEO of managed hotel Wi-Fi provider Spot On Networks. “Number two is security.”

Sherwin recommends that hotels be sure to have wireless throughout the hotel. “As I look at hotels, I see people with tablets and laptops and smartphones accessing the network, which is why I think hotels have been forced to increase bandwidth,” Sherwin said. There has also been a spate of devices that use wireless as a backbone for other hotel functions, such as energy management and occupancy detection.

“Not only does the wireless bandwidth promote the marketing to the guest, but it can act as a way to reduce operating expenses, through energy management and access control,” Sherwin said.

CEO of Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) Frank Wolfe recommends maintaining a good relationship with your Internet provider. “You can ask for service level agreements, ask for downtime to be at a certain point, you can get burstable Internet, but at the end of the day your Internet service provider is going to be your partner,” Wolfe said. “What happens in a lot of cases is if the relationship becomes adversarial, then they want out of the contract.”

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