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The number of smartphones, tablets and laptops connecting to hotel WiFi networks is forever increasing, not to mention the bandwidth demands brought by content streaming, property system backups, IP telephony, and other industry applications. Having very high-speed internet access has become business-critical for many hotels.
Fibre technology currently provides the fastest way to access the internet. However, it can be quite a challenge navigating the various types on offer, and which is best suited for reliable, fast internet access within a hotel environment.
Business Fibre Broadband, sometimes referred to as ‘Superfast Fibre’ is essentially the same Fibre service many of us have to our homes, repackaged for the business environment. The solution is capable of offering fast internet access, anywhere up to 1GB download in some instances, although the upload speed can be much slower. However, the speed quoted by providers often represents the maximum speed achievable rather than a guaranteed service speed. This is because there are often a variety of impacting factors, such as distance from the local exchange and the contention ratio (the number of other businesses or homes sharing your Fibre access). These factors, along with many others, can result in a considerably slower, and unreliable internet experience, especially during peak times.
A dedicated Fibre Leased Line, is an internet access service used solely by your business, and your business alone. In addition to having a guaranteed symmetrical upload and download speed between 50MB and 10GB, you have guaranteed recovery times in the event of a failure. Overall, providing your property with fast, reliable and robust internet access, without the peak-time slowdown, which is absolutely critical for many hotels today.
Shared pro fibre is a consumer product that has been repackaged to target businesses. It is found under the name of Pro FTTH. Unlike dedicated pro fibre, this solution is a shared fibre offer shared between several users. It is still capable of offering high connection speeds (up to 1 Gbps depending on the operator and eligibility). However, this figure represents the maximum achievable flow (we speak of “peak flow”). Indeed, the speed is not guaranteed and can drop considerably depending on the usage in your neighbourhood, a real potential problem during peak hours.
Business Fibre Broadband can initially, from a financial standpoint, look more attractive than a Fibre Leased Line. However, your decision shouldn’t be based purely upon the cost, as installing the wrong service could have a more extensive financial impact later down the line. The main risk with Business Fibre Broadband is the ‘great-unknown’. How many other businesses will be sharing your service? Will the speed you receive be fast enough to support guest devices, streaming services and back-office applications? How will your guests react to the internet service slowing down during peak hours?
“Our recommendation would always be to implement a dedicated Fibre Leased Line into a hotel to ensure a fast and reliable service is available at all times. Bandwidth requirements are ever-increasing, so making the right decision today to equip your hotel with a service that will continue to serve your business needs tomorrow is absolutely vital.”
Theo Dimishky, Wifirst Hospitality Business Unit Director
A leader in innovative WiFi and Fibre connectivity solutions since 2002, Wifirst is trusted by thousands of customers across Europe to provide high-quality, robust networks.