The WiFi Internet is in demand at remote locations because often 5G services are difficult to access or cannot be reached. Vacation locations face unique challenges for public WiFi Internet, and some are listed below.
- Improve WiFi wireless coverage for a large open outdoor area.
- Provide wired Internet connections for RV parking pads as part of the services.
- Improve the performance of the guest WiFi Internet service when guests complain that the Internet is slow.
- How vacation destinations at remote locations can provide a WiFi Internet service for guests.
- Vacation destinations can provide Internet access when guests arrive at any time of the day or night.
- Hospitality businesses and vacation destinations can keep guests informed about benefits and events.
Technical solutions are available to solve the WiFi Internet issues that guests often complain about. Let's look at each of these.
1. Improve WiFi wireless coverage for a large open outdoor area.Many large outdoor vacation destinations such as RV Parks, Glamping sites and campgrounds provide a WiFi Internet service for guests and visitors. WiFi is essential for all visitors, especially where there is a poor or no 5G mobile service. People want to upload photos and videos to social media to share with friends. This is important for any vacation business as it represents free marketing so it is in the businesses best interest to ensure that guests get a great WiFi service. Most vacation destination business managers see the Internet service as a cost, however it is a valuable marketing resource that can be exploited in three ways.
- A great Internet service gets great reviews, attracting digital nomads, remote workers and other people that need the connectivity.
- Guests using the Internet to interact with social media are providing free advertising for the business.
- The Internet service can be used to advertise a range of services and benefits provided by the vacation business.
- WiFi communication is line-of-sight, this means that the guest has to see the WiFi antenna in order to get a good signal, trees and buildings will block the WiFi signal. It is important to put the WiFi antenna on top of a tall tower, above trees and buildings to ensure that guests get a good line of sight connection.
- Popular omni-directional or stick antennas disperse wireless power in directions that are not needed. Better range can be obtained by exchanging omni-directional antennas for directional antennas that point in the direction where guests will be using the Internet.
- WiFi technology is low power, much lower then a mobile phone tower and has a range of a few hundred feet. Most of the wireless WiFi units have much less power than is permitted by the FCC. Large areas require more WiFi antennas to be installed to get good coverage.
- There are a few high power WiFi wireless products that provide the maximum power allowed by the FCC, that have special directional antennas, called sector antennas. Sector antennas are installed on top of mobile phone towers. Upgrading existing WiFi antennas to the more expensive high power wireless and antenna configurations will increase the range of the WiFi.
Vacation businesses that provide the best WiFi Internet service will see the benefits of their WiFi investments in new customers, extended stays and return business.
2. Provide wired Internet connections for RV parking pads as part of the services.
RV parks provide services at each RV pad that include water, electricity and sewer. Often the Internet connection will be overlooked and a WiFi service will be provided. Connecting each RV pad with a fiber optic data cable can provide a much better Internet service. Copper Ethernet cables are not suitable to connect pads as they have a limited distance of 300 ft maximum, whereas fiber has a maximum distance of 45 miles.
Many RV Parks provide pad services through underground channels that have space for additional cables and so a site can be upgraded for a fiber RV connection. Fiber Internet is definitely a marketing plus as all RV’ers want good Internet access. During the planning phase for a new RV Park the installation of fiber data cables is as important as the water and electrical connections. An RV park that cannot be upgraded to provide optical fiber cables but provides WiFi Internet has an alternative to improve the Internet service. This alternative is to provide guests with a WiFi receiver with a good long-range antenna. WiFi receivers with good antennas are frequently purchased by RV customers.
3. Improve the performance of the guest WiFi Internet service when guest complain that the Internet is slow.
If a hospitality business or a vacation destination can install a multi-gigabit optical fiber Internet connection then there will be ample bandwidth for hundreds of guests. For most businesses however the availability of high-speed Internet circuits is very limited. Many businesses are using an ADSL Internet connection as that is the only service available. Some locations have optical fiber but data speeds can be limited when a fiber distribution network has many customers with limited Internet connection capacity. Hospitality and vacation businesses in rural areas have fewer options available and guests may complain that the Internet is slow. A business has two actions that it can take to improve the Internet speed for each guest.
- Manage the service to limit access to authorized guests and manage the bandwidth for each guest. This means providing authorized guests with access codes and limiting each guest bandwidth so that a few guests downloading fast data streams don’t make the service slow for everyone else. If necessary data caps can be added to the service.
- Add a second or third Internet service provider so that the sum of the Internet speeds is available for guests and if one connection fails the guests will fail-over to the working connection, improving reliability. A second or third Internet connection can be a 5G data service or a Satellite service such as Starlink.
Guest Internet managed WiFi gateway products manage both the guest Internet connection and also manage the number of connections to the Internet to share the service. Different Guest Internet models can connect two or four Internet service providers to give guests the total bandwidth of the providers.
4. Vacation destinations at remote locations can provide a WiFi Internet service for guests.
Many vacation destinations such as campgrounds and RV Parks are located in wilderness areas because that is what attracts guests and visitors. The problem with a remote area is lack of services. Water can be obtained from a well; electricity can be transported hundreds of miles over cables or generated locally, however a connection to the Internet is a problem for all remote locations. The maximum distance for DSL is about 3 miles from the central switch. Optical fiber can have a distance up to about 45 miles however it is very expensive to install. The only viable alternative for many remote locations is a Satellite connection. HughesNet provides a popular satellite Internet service that is suitable for homes but does not have the bandwidth for guests at a vacation destination to use. Starlink is a more recent development that does have the bandwidth to share for a guest WiFI Internet service. The basic Starlink service has a data speed in the range of 150Mb/s to 200Mb/s. Starlink also has a fast service for businesses with a data speed up to 500Mb/s. Guest Internet products have the features to share the Starlink service between many guests, as listed below.
- Ensure that only authorized people are using the service; provide a login code.
- Optionally charge for the service to recover some or all of the costs with a slow free plus fast charged service.
- If providing a free plus charged service consider blocking high data volume websites such as Netflix from the free service.
- Set maximum data speeds for users so that the available bandwidth can be shared.
- Prevent abuse of the service that will degrade the Internet performance for everyone.
Guest Internet products will ensure that guests and visitors are delighted with a WiFi Internet service using Starlink.
5. Vacation destinations can provide Internet access when guests arrive at any time of the day or night.
Most vacation destinations have on-line reservation systems. Some destinations like campgrounds and RV parks don’t have staff available 24 hours of each day, and the entrance may be staffed from 8am to 5pm.
Many reservation systems send a gate access code when the reservation is made so the guest can arrive at any time of the night and get access to the campground or RV Park. Some reservation systems also provide the access code for the WiFi Internet together with the gate code so that guests who arrive at night can connect to the Internet to receive and send messages.
Guest Internet products have two types of application programming interface (API) that permits a software business with reservation and property management systems to provide the Internet access code for guests at the time of making the reservation.
6. Hospitality businesses and vacation destinations can keep guests informed about benefits and events.
A public WiFi Internet service for guests and visitors can be provided with a login page, which is a great method of communicating with the public. The login page is a good location to provide information about the business; an RV park can list the rules about littering for example.
Businesses can offer additional services and provide a link to a web page that provides more information. Another example is a campground that can advertise and sell nature treks, kayaking and campfire cooking lessons.
Businesses can also offer advertising space for other businesses that want to sell to the guests and visitors. For example an RV park can sell advertising for food trucks that visit the park or for a mobile dog grooming service for the visitors' pets.
The login page is a great tool to recover the costs of the Internet service by using it for marketing. Guest Internet products provide three easy methods of creating powerful login displays, which can include any feature that is available for the web site designer.
When a campground or RV park provides a great Internet service the results will be a higher occupancy rate, extended stays and return bookings. Many people who stay at campgrounds and RV parks are working while traveling; they are called digital nomads or remote workers, and can only stay at locations with a good Internet service. They read the visitor reviews and make reservation decisions based on the availability of a great Internet service.
For more information, please contact us, we would be delighted to help you.