Located close to downtown Sacramento, Calif., the recently branded Lexington Inn & Suites Sacramento has been undergoing substantial renovations since coming under new ownership. Yet at the top of the list of priorities was our objective to implement a fast, seamless and uninterrupted online guest Wi-Fi service. With so many of today’s guests considering Wi-Fi connectivity to be an amenity as essential as running water, we quickly realized that in order to provide total satisfaction and safeguard property reputation, an effective and reliable internet network needed to be in place.
As an older property, the pre-existing Wi-Fi infrastructure was outdated and unable to meet current expectations. Weak signal strength and lagging speed was a troublesome issue throughout the hotel. Understandably, daily guest complaints about spotty or non-existent connectivity became the norm. The issue was clearly one that needed to be addressed as quickly as possible, regardless of the building’s age disadvantage. Before poor network service could affect booking revenues, property management tasked itself with the mission of locating an affordable strategy to bring Wi-Fi services up to today’s consumer standards.
While the need to update current equipment was obviously apparent, like many properties, factors such as cost and structural limitations had to be considered. The original network consisted of hallway and rooftop access points (APs) designed to transmit wireless internet to guest devices, common throughout the hospitality industry. Wanting to affordably overcome frequent weak signal transmission, uneven Wi-Fi coverage and AP signal interference, management decided to work with Hotel Internet Services (HIS), a hospitality-based internet services and solutions provider, to find a solution.
As with many buildings constructed prior to the emergence of Wi-Fi, the first obstacle to overcome was a lack of Ethernet wiring; an issue that Hotel Internet services addressed by using existing phone lines to connect equipment. Dubbed as very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line (VDSL) with speeds up to 100Mbps, this approach also ensures the ability to future proof the building when bandwidth needs inevitably change as a result of evolving guest expectations. By considering scalability and the potential need for additional equipment at a later date, the Hotel Internet Services suggestion of leveraging phone lines also meant that costly future alterations to infrastructure, such as opening walls and ceilings and installing extra cabling, could be completely avoided; effectively circumventing any short term and long term budget concerns.
Hotel Internet Services also opted to implement Ruckus H500 in-room APs. Strategically placed in several guestrooms throughout the property, the benefits of using in-room access points to transmit the Wi-Fi signal immediately became apparent, with interference drastically limited and guest devices now close enough to the signal’s source to guarantee an optimal experience.
Partnering with Hotel Internet Services also provided the hotel with an opportunity to implement an enhanced version of Wi-Fi if later desired. Known as a tiered bandwidth service, guests willing to pay a fee for faster speeds or to connect additional devices, can do so while allowing the property to monetize their service and make a return on investment. Significantly, this method of service does not in any way limit the ability to offer free and reliable Wi-Fi to the remainder of guests.