Initiatives are being taken to help the hospitality industry satisfy its guests' increasing demand for Wi-Fi access. The Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") is expected to adopt measures that will expand the amount of spectrum available for hotel, restaurant and other hospitality operators to install local area Wi-Fi network capacity at reasonable cost.
Consumers of hospitality services expect easy access to the Internet over their computers and other wireless devices. Making such access available at no additional cost has become a competitive advantage. Unfortunately, there hasn't been enough spectrum available to accommodate this demand, so costs of such access in large facilities remains high.
To alleviate this shortage, the FCC has proposed opening up more space on the airwaves to meet the growth of Wi-Fi usage. With this increased capacity, data speeds would be increased, congestion would be reduced and, most importantly, costs for access would go down.
While final action on this proposal is not expected for several months, it is not too early to start taking advantage of this new opportunity. Discussions with your broadband providers should be initiated to determine how these changes could impact your operations. Plans for installing or upgrading your Wi-Fi infrastructure should be evaluated. Consideration should be given to working with your vendor to amend existing contractual arrangements or to executing new agreements.