Technology

Free wifi “revolution” takes over Australian hotels

Sophie Hodge

Walk into most hotels and serviced apartments around Australia and you’ll be greeted with free wifi, according to a survey conducted by Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA).

The survey, conducted from responses of over 300 hotels and serviced apartments across Australia, found that 96% of hotels and serviced apartments surveyed offer some level of free wifi to their guests.

Major Australian hotel groups such as Rydges and Meriton have introduced across the board Internet access in the past two years, much to the delight of guests.

TAA’s chief executive Carol Giuseppi said that there has been a ‘revolution’ in Australian hotels with the number of guests doubling as access to free wifi became a norm.

“In the past few years, hotels have had to upgrade their Internet provision dramatically as the demand for connectivity has increased with guests often operating multiple devices and demanding ever-increasing bandwidth,” she said.

However, satisfying bandwidth requirements at peak time comes at a large cost, with many costing over $120,000 for high speed, secure Internet installation.

To offset these high costs, Giuseppi says that many hotel groups offer customers the option of faster bandwidth, but at a cost.

“Hotels generally accept that a level of internet access should be provided free so that guests can answer emails or update their social media channels, but when guests want to download or stream items requiring massive bandwidth then it is only fair that they should pay for premium bandwidth usage,” she said.

Many hotels now have loyalty schemes available to guests, with wifi built in to their plan – it’s the perfect opportunity for travellers to make sure Internet follows them wherever they go.

“Providing high-quality, fast, efficient and secure internet service is an important requirement for guests. Australian hotels have answered demands from guests by extending Internet access, and our industry is now on par with most hotel sectors around the world,” Giuseppi said.



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