Free Internet Connectivity For Vacation Rentals

crybaby Yesterday had a WiFi flavor on my Twitter stream as the argument against hotels charging for the service featured in a rant or two. This came at a time I am considering installing a satellite internet system in my rental cottage since there is no wireless or cell signal available for my guests. I’m not going to be charging for connecting to the service but it was interesting to hear how many accommodation providers (including vacation rental owners) still do and the emotion the charges evoke.

Todd Lucier is an outspoken expert in internet marketing for tourism and his powerful video rant is worth a watch,  not only for his perspective on internet charges, but for the social media statistics. It got me thinking about the benefits of installing internet in the cottage despite the cost. My guests could catch a fish off the dock, take a photo of it, then upload it onto Facebook minutes later and be sharing it with all their friends. How cool would that be? I could benefit from free marketing, courtesy of my paying guests. Why would I charge for that?

wifiqI posted a question on Twitter about  this and got an immediate positive response with only a few exceptions.  Most vacation rental owners see the huge benefit of providing internet access whether it is through conventional wireless, a satellite connection or with a ‘Stick’.  Some were telling me their location had specifically been chosen because of the internet connectivity it offered.

The overwhelming response was that internet connection has become a ‘must have’ criterion on the majority of travellers wish lists and vacation rental owners could be benefiting from installing it.  It’s convinced me and satellite internet will be installed at Osprey Cottage in the spring.

Stan Sobolewski

I feel that high speed access is a must and it should be included. I just have to remeber how I felt when I wanted to connect and get updated to the world from the cottage and then remembered that the only connection I had was dial up. It was not even worth the effort.

Heather Bayer

You are right Stan – dial-up won’t cut it any more. Properties with hi-speed are in demand these days and those places with it will have the competitive edge.

Craig

I’d be interested to hear what you end up doing, and the costs involved in getting satellite internet setup. I heard its pretty expensive? up to $700 for hardware and $70/month?

Heather Bayer

Hi Craig – xplornet have some great offers on at the moment. – $300 for installation and equipment and $60 month. We only need to get an additional days rental per month to cover the cost. http://www.xplornet.com

Philip Dawes

I’ve been toying with adding Wi-Fi on and off for ages, I have left guests a wireless dongle they can use, but it is quite slow as I am in an area of very poor reception. The main reasons for not installing it are; I have heard that I would be responsible for whatever guests download (legal and illegal) and also that being in an area of very slow broadband I feel it may just ‘wind-up’ guests by advertising ‘free wi-fi’ and then they can’t use it because the internet decided to have a day off! With the growth of 3G Smart Phones people can usually access email and other social media anyway, can people not go a week without unlimited internet access? or should I just get on and provide it with a disclaimer the broadband speed problem?

darlene collin

My mother in law recently rented a cottage for our family, nieces and nephews and all to spend a week together. I figure it would be no issue for our family to spend a week at the cottage, until I arrived and realized the cottage had no internet access or cell coverage. It resulted in me having to drive into the local town to use the free wi-fi at the local coffee shop… next time our place has to have internet. I am actually a reseller for Xplornet, at the time Xplornet did not have affordable coverage where the cottage rental was… now it does! Satellite high speed packages from 44.99/ month, and optional seasonal disconnects in off seasons.

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