A report from Engadget on developments with wireless network access in hotels in the US:
Check in. Go to your hotel room. Get online. Or, more likely, try to get online. Call the front desk. “No WiFi access, sir. We can get you a phone cable so you can plug into your data port.” Great. While it’s still rare to find a hotel that offers high-speed access, it’s even more rare to find one that offers WiFi access.
Enter Starwood Hotels. The mavens that they are, Starwood have started offering not only WiFi access in rooms, but also local hotel-based blogs for guests. […] The blog is created by hotel guests like yourself from the past and present, and nothing beats the experience of real people. Future services are planned like streaming music and other online entertainment.
Hotels in some European countries have been offering broadband connectivity for some time. The switch to wi-fi seems to be speeding up. My recent business travel experiences in Switzerland, Sweden and UK were excellent – the hotels I stayed in were fully wi-fi’d, not just in lobby hotspots but in every single room.
But, this may not be a concern once wireless networking spreads through whole cities. Amsterdam could be a good example with the roll out already underway of a city-wide wi-fi network (see my post earlier last month).
I like the hotel blog idea: a very effective way of building community relationships with guests especially frequent ones.