I've spent a couple of weeks in Brisbane (Australia) in April and at that time the hotel (the Conrad Treasury) provided a very good in-room broadband service. Simply plug the Ethernet cable and accept the conditions and you're good to go. And they also have a wireless AP in the main lobby.
Now I am back in Brisbane for another week. The city is nice, great colours, but a different hotel (Rydges Brisbane) and the only thing they can offer is... nothing. The way to go here is to unplug the telephone cable and dial-up. Great if you have a local ISP or roaming ISP accounts. I don't have these, since I have cable-modem at home (thanks for 10Mbit!), and of course my option is to connect to my company's local RAS server - which is very slow and did I say very slow?.
However the nice leaflet on the desk here says I can connect to Telstra Hotspot. I thought "Great, I have a T-Mobile Hotspot account and I can roam on Telstra". Wrong! Only on-account T-Mobile users can roam, on-the-go T-Mobile Hotspot users are not allowed to use the service outside the USA.
Ok then, let's try Telstra Hotspot directly. Quite easy to connect and pay (took me two attempts to pay using my credit card), but what kind of service is this? Every 5 or 10 minutes there is a micro outage, and my attempts to open any page during these return "Server not found". My RSS feed reader is now full of feeds marked in red as in "Can not access feed".
These micro outages go for about five or more seconds and then all is ok.
I know I am not disconnected from the AP because I have no notification on my laptop, and my account is still going. Since on Telstra Hotspot you pay in advance for 5, 10, 15, 30, 60, 90 minutes and any unused minutes are forfeited, then I can only think these micro outages are there to stop file swappers or large downloads. What a pain. And they also block FTP.
I have used Rydges in Queenstown, North Sydney and Brisbane. I think they should either have in-room broadband, or my company should remove them from the list of approved hotels.
By the way, the Rydges is running an advertising campaign on cinemas here where someone calls a hotel for booking and is kept on the call with one of those "Your call is very important to us" message. At the same time caller is reading a newspaper and scratching some letters on an hotel ad. At the end the only thing seem is the word "L O S E R S". And the invitation to book on the Rydges over the Internet. They should think again if they plan to use the Internet.
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