Guests Demand Tiered Wi-Fi

Apr 22, 2014 12:14:48 AM

In the recent article, Tiered Wi-Fi Emerges as New Industry Model, HotelNewsNow.com contributor, John Buchanan, reports that complimentary Wi-Fi is becoming ubiquitous with limited and select-service hotels, while more full-service properties offer tiered bandwidth plans.

Of Marriott International’s full-service brands, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, JW Marriott, and Renaissance have already adopted tiered pricing models while tiered models are the standard for all Marriott hotels in the U.S. (of which Eleven is a certified Marriott provider).

Several other brands including Hilton, Hyatt, Omni, Four Seasons, and Loews offer both free and paid Internet plans as well. “Many of our full-service and luxury hotels currently offer tiered options for guests, and we expect the prevalence of these options to increase across more properties, because it offers guests more choice and control to meet their individual needs,” said Hilton’s representative Blake Rouhani.

“Based on what I’ve heard from hotel operators, I respect tiered service as a reasonable way to fund the capital requirements of providing [free] basic service and also providing the bigger bandwidth that some customers want and are willing to pay for,” said Bill DeForrest, president and CEO of Spire Hospitality.

Mark Carrier, president of B.F. Saul Company Hospitality Group, commented, “Why should I start to give away something I [can make] money from?”

The ever-increasing complexity and cost of state-of-the-art technology is building higher bandwidth expectations from guests. Carrier admits, “...that by making [basic Wi-Fi] free as an industry, we have undermined what could have been at least a cost-recovery model.” Offering tiered bandwidth is a simple way to help offset technology costs.

How do you recoup your Internet technology costs?