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Mr Snotty
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  # 1306617 17-May-2015 13:46
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I once stayed at a Motel with "Free Internet" - the lady handed me over a WPA2 password and I got all excited.

Noticed it was slow and pages were timing out - checked the Chorus Coverage maps and yes... Conklin.




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  # 1306624 17-May-2015 13:50
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NonprayingMantis: as sbiddle said,  this definitely isn't a 'NZ' problem.

Hotel wifi worldwide is terrible.  Of course there are exception,s but in my travels I'm yet to come accross hotel wifi that wasn't either

1) terrible terrible quality
or
2) uber expensive, such that mobile data was much better value.

Often, hotel wifi is both expensive and crappy - virtually everywhere around the world.

Doesn't seem to make much difference how good the hotel is either.  some of the best hotels have the worst wifi.
(and, for that matter, worst TV.  Hotel TV systems are about as archaic as the wifi - so many hotels don't have HD.

It would be so good for a hotel to offer decent SVOD services (Netflix etc) instead of the crud they have on offer right now




And that goes back to the $$ side of things. People want things for free, but providing high quality wireless internet to a room for a night doesn't come cheaply - and if you do have an old wireless install you'll probably find it's really struggling with the massive increases in data usage and multiple devices.

Deploying a quality install using something such as dual band Ruckus kit doesn't come cheaply. If you're already giving a product away how can you recoup that investment? Should you even attempt to recoup that investment? They're all not easy questions to answer.



 
 
 
 


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  # 1306625 17-May-2015 13:53
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I have been to quite a number of hotels NZ/AU and USA and most of them have not been free. The free ones have been an exception usually as I was in an expensive room and/or they had to give it to me due to the hotel chain level I was on.

When there was pay for internet it was so expensive I wouldn't pay the $25(or whatever the price was)/day to use it.

Maybe a little old but http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10842245 shows the
Prices a few years ago and most likely they haven't changed much.





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  # 1306635 17-May-2015 14:20
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sbiddle:
NonprayingMantis: as sbiddle said,  this definitely isn't a 'NZ' problem.

Hotel wifi worldwide is terrible.  Of course there are exception,s but in my travels I'm yet to come accross hotel wifi that wasn't either

1) terrible terrible quality
or
2) uber expensive, such that mobile data was much better value.

Often, hotel wifi is both expensive and crappy - virtually everywhere around the world.

Doesn't seem to make much difference how good the hotel is either.  some of the best hotels have the worst wifi.
(and, for that matter, worst TV.  Hotel TV systems are about as archaic as the wifi - so many hotels don't have HD.

It would be so good for a hotel to offer decent SVOD services (Netflix etc) instead of the crud they have on offer right now




And that goes back to the $$ side of things. People want things for free, but providing high quality wireless internet to a room for a night doesn't come cheaply - and if you do have an old wireless install you'll probably find it's really struggling with the massive increases in data usage and multiple devices.

Deploying a quality install using something such as dual band Ruckus kit doesn't come cheaply. If you're already giving a product away how can you recoup that investment? Should you even attempt to recoup that investment? They're all not easy questions to answer.




so here's the thing I can never quite grasp.

Physically, a hotel isn't all that different from an apartment block.

It costs ~$80/m to get unlimited residential broadband in an apartment.  
Inside the apartment you can have a pretty cheap router with ethernet ports for decent experience, or use wifi for iffy connection - people do this in CBD apartment all the time.  

At $80/m,  even at, say, 60% occupancy (which I think is low by hotel standards),  that equates to less than $5/night for unlimited broadband with a reasonable speed.

I would also argue that a hotel is likely to see, on average, a lot less usage per resident than an apartment block too on any given night - given the fact that many people who stay in a hotel are going out for the evening so won't want to be streaming netflix at peak times.
And, of course, the hotel is a single entity.  Buying 300+ connections and modems at once is going to get your some economies of scale.

so why are hotels unable to do something that individuals, with no bulk buying power at all, are somehow able to do?






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  # 1306889 17-May-2015 22:36

Jase2985: could be amny things, your laptop or device trying to do updates, upload to the cloud anything like that. These days we are so reliant on "free" wifi that when we go to limited wifi we need to make sure our devices are locked down.



It is pretty well in a basic locked down state. I update everything else where.




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  # 1306893 17-May-2015 22:46

sbiddle: I won't want to make any comments on Zenbu, but do want to make some specific comments about free WiFi, and as a disclaimer by day job involves the installation of hotel WiFi systems (not Zenbu).

It's pretty much a myth that WiFi is free at hotels everywhere - that's coming from me who spent over 50 night in hotels last year in a number of countries around the world. In the US where WiFi is "free", it's typically free in lobbies, not rooms. Major chains such as Hilton offer free WiFi in room if you're Hhonors Gold or above. You'll also typically find it's lower cost chains that offer it, not mid to high end chains or brands. As I type this in Hawaii I'm staying at hotel with free WiFi throughout, and it's a system I'd be ashamed to be responsible for due to the poor quality and performance.

Many people are expecting free WiFi in the same way they don't expect to pay extra to watch TV - but the cost of delivering a quality WiFi experience to a hotel does not come cheaply, and as data usage and end user expectations grow, building a business case to upgrade such a system when end user data use and expectations is increasing is very difficult.

As somebody who deploy systems I've curious as to exactly what your expectations are. I've got hotels where it's not uncommon to see users pulling over 50GB in a night where usage is free, something that does impact other users. Do you consider this sort of usage to be fair? Should "free" WiFi be limited to certain areas or have limits imposed? Should the use of streaming video services be blocked or restricted? It's not uncommon to see this now occurring in the US because of the massive increases in data use that are occurring.

At the end of the day there is no such thing as a free lunch - even somewhere that has "free" WiFi is building that into their costs in the same way they build in cleaning rooms. Much like the quality of hotel rooms there will be some hotels that have great systems (and I'd like to think everything I've deployed falls into that basket) and systems that will be terrible.




 I understand where you are coming from but....

 

I don't know but I expect:

the lift to work,
the shower and bathtub to work hot & cold,
a room phone to connect to the front desk, housekeeping and the consierge
the bed to be made with clean sheets, etc.
the air conditioning/ventilation system to work
if there is a fridge for it to keep things cold
the lights to work
etc., etc.
I also expect to go to my room turn on my computer and log in to the Internet using my room number and my last name or what ever. (Ethernet would also be nice as WiFi still basically sucks for many reasons. If I'm moving money around I want it secure.)
You know I am paying for my hotel room and expect basic services.

I had this in Berlin, Boppard (on the Rhine), Munich, Toronto, Niagara Falls Canada, Waikiki  Hawaii...Hell  - ALL Greyhound buses in rural Canada have it all FREE
So I don't know where some others have been travelling but obviously not where I've been and many of my friends. Many of them make free Internet a condition for booking.

Mike

P.S. Our wonderful Innkeeper is actually giving us free WiFi because ZENBU is so bad. He is also currently in the process of updating his system. So bless his heart. Fibre Optics should help a lot.

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  # 1309598 21-May-2015 23:20
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I was in China last year and stayed in 3 hotels, each and every one of them had free wifi and completely open too, 2 of them it was in room, the last one was lobby only initially but they gave us an ap for free that we just plugged into a port in our room. The wifi at all 3 hotels provided good signal but was very slow still for anything accessed outside of China due to the govts heavy filtering, needless to say all of Google is blocked and I had to use a vpn, the vpn did actually speed things up a bit.

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  # 1310239 23-May-2015 02:27
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$500 is not realistic anymore.
Especially if there are more than 10 rooms.

In the hotel I stayed in wellington, they probably spent $20k on their system. A unifi AP in the hallway covered 4 rooms, 3 per floor.
It was well designed.

Unlimited broadband plans dont work well for most larger motels / hotels.
When you get one or two people torrenting, the little home router, or the tcp connection count limit on the connection will hit the limit and problems will ensue. A high speed business grade connection is required. Before UFB, this would have cost $2k a month in the major cities. Its coming down in cost due to the UFB rollout, but its still more expensive than your everyday residential unlimited connection.

Zenbu is a system designed for very small motels with small budgets. Its not great and yes the data caps are unrealistic.

There is also the copyright 3-strikes law which adds compliance costs.
You either need a smart layer 7 firewall appliance to filter torrents and other such material, or you need a capping system in place to discourage downloaders. The problem is that if 3 guests at a motel cause 3 strikes, the motel looses their internet connection and gets prosecuted.





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For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here




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  # 1310842 24-May-2015 16:45
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Two years ago I stayed in The Wave Resort in Broadbeach and had to shell out around $80 AUD for 40GB through Freedom Internet, I think it was. Good, fast Wi-Fi, but not particularly cheap. Then last year we rented a flash house and their internet was mobile 3G and about $50 for 5GB. Thankfully a couple of days later they installed free internet but it was a relatively average ADSL connection. By that time I'd gone out and bought an Optus mobile data hotspot (since we go often). So, yeah, not cheap either time.




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  # 1310866 24-May-2015 17:49
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Many hotels/motels simply weren't wired for ethernet internet when they were built, and its the same issue with their TV system.
Changing to an IP TV solution costs in new hardware for every room, and if they've only put flat screens in (with in built freeview) in the last few years they're still wearing some of that cost.

We regularly have overseas friends stay a night or two. They blow our data cap regularly.

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