Link Load Balancers
HSIA: From Problem to Profit

An introduction to Internet bandwidth management for hospitality managers

1. Executive Summary

High speed Internet access (HSIA) has become a key technology asset for hospitality providers around the world with its unique mix of problems and benefits, adding more responsibilities for hotel properties and IT managers. HSIA is now widely regarded as a bottom-line impacting resource that must be properly managed to prevent negative impacts on a facility’s revenue. This white paper discusses how to have a winning HSIA strategy, grow guest satisfaction and secure recurring revenue.

2. Overview of the problem

Since the mid-90’s, business travelers have been accessing the Internet through dial-up connections in their hotel rooms, accessing key corporate resources like email, CRM and sales force automation tools. With the widespread availability of high-speed links at the turn of the century, hospitality providers began to implement network-based access to the high-speed links in the room. Business travelers have grown accustomed to having access to this service in the past few years, setting a new expectation for the hospitality industry. Not only do customers expect HSIA in the hotels they stay in, but they also expect performance and availability from HSIA services.

With the addition of this expectation came bandwidth-intensive Internet applications that started to heavily tax HSIA data links or circuits used by hotel sites. Such applications include YouTube, Slingbox, Skype, Bit Torrent and other peer-to-peer (P2P) applications, rich webmail clients, video conferencing and Internet-based broadcasts (radio, podcasts, etc.). Combined with the traditional tools used by business travelers, existing telecommunications links (DSL, T1, etc.) have proved to be no longer sufficient to meet demand. Hotel properties also need to consider that guest usage at all times of the day is increasing, especially at sites with conference capabilities.Should a hospitality provider’s HSIA be unreliable, congested or simply provide a negative experience,business travelers are significantly less likely to stay at the property again.The short term financial impact of unavailable HSIA is the inability to invoice customers for daily Internet charges,and the long term financial impact is loss of repeat customers, therefore room, food and drink and other sources of revenue will be impacted negatively over the longer term.

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