ost hotels today claim to offer
high-speed Internet access, but the quality of that service can
vary widely. Techies at Toronto-based Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
) developed the following tips to help
planners assess their own requirements and gauge a hotel’s ability
to meet their needs.
1) Check on bandwidth.
If a webcast is
planned, make sure the high-speed Internet access has enough
bandwidth. If more bandwidth is required, ask how quickly it can be
2) Consider attendees’ needs.
What do they
require to hook up their computers? Smart travelers will bring a
power supply and will have an Ethernet or wireless card to let them
connect. Find out what areas of the hotel offer wireless access and
the number of connections the system can handle.
3) Get details on the network.
might advertise high-speed Internet connections, but exactly what
are users connecting to? Is the hotel’s network from a premium
provider, such as Cisco Systems or 3Com, or is it a hodgepodge of
different providers, which can result in poor service?
4) Consider Virtual Private Networks.
attendees who want a secure connection to the office through a VPN,
ask if each will get a unique IP address (the set of numbers that
identifies each computer on the network). Sharing an IP address
between multiple computers can create software glitches.
5) Have help on hand.
If the hotel’s on-site
tech team runs the Internet network internally, ask for tech
support to be provided for the duration of the meeting.