360° Hotel Group, a Lynnwood, Wash.-based owner and operator of branded and independent hotels, required a connectivity solution for a new SpringHill Suites location that it had just opened in Bellingham, Wash. Kevin Eld, vice president of facility management for 360, was not able to find solutions that offered high enough speeds for the value he was seeking. Hospitality companies like 360, Eld said, started to move away from T-1 based solutions from major telecom providers when those operators started charging $1400 to $1500 per month for 10 Mbps circuits. Eld needed a higher-speed, lower cost solution—one from a provider that would back up its offering with superior and responsive customer service in the event of outages and other problems.
T-carrier services (T1, T3, etc.) transmit data in a fixed order over pre-allocated sub-channels of a circuit. Packet switching formats like Ethernet move data across networks more efficiently, making Ethernet significantly less expensive to deliver. Ethernet services also mean ease of installation and more reliability and scalability. Business connectivity services like T1 and T3 rely on phone lines of telecom companies, rather than dedicated fiber for transport, which results in higher costs and slower speeds.
Point-to-multipoint metro Ethernet configurations enable faster speeds at lower costs and scale with the always-changing needs of a business. Metro Ethernet are delivered over fiber ranges in speeds from 10 Mb/s to 100 Gb/s, compared to T1 lines, which run at a fixed speed of 1.5 Mb/s and T3 lines that reach data transfer speeds of about 45 Mb/s.
Fighting with Fiber
To solve these issues, 360 decided to roll out a customized, all-optical point-to-multipoint Metro Ethernet solution from Wolfe, delivered over dedicated fiber. The solution provided a more flexible, cost-effective connectivity solution that would expand with 360’s businesses and allow it to securely share data and network services throughout the hotel. Eld was able to bring a full fiber cable into the new SpringHill Suites location that would provide services all the way up to 1 Gbps to serve all the connectivity needs of the hotel’s guests and staff. Wolfe’s service offers a 100 Mbps Ethernet connection—enough bandwidth to serve the whole hotel—for $1400 per month.
Since implementing the Wolfe solution, 360 has enjoyed improved business productivity, faster backup, no network downtime and significant cost savings. In addition, 360 enjoys timely responsiveness to any service-related issues that may come up. “No one wants to be on the phone with someone for four hours trying to solve a problem,” Elb says. “The ordering process was streamlined and the service level has been really good. And the Internet connectivity is outstanding.”
The Customization Differentiators
How can Wolfe offer more speed and more reliability for less money? The answer lies in its customization capabilities. Rather than an off-the-shelf offering, Wolfe conducted one-on-one meetings with 360 and did research into its unique needs. The end result was the creation of a custom-designed and custom-provisioned network solution that was tailor-made for the particular requirements of 360—one that the hotel group is likely to turn to again and again as it continues to open new locations.