20160908_150832Superfast Broadband and Tourism

Superfast broadband services are now available to around 95% of properties in Northumberland. According to data from Northumberland Tourism over 78% of people look for Wi-Fi availability when choosing a holiday cottage and they expect to have access to the services they have at home. A third of Britons couldn’t go 24 hours without the internet* *Factiva 2015

How can I offer WiFi to my guests?

Check to see if your holiday cottage has access to superfast broadband by entering your postcode in the availability checker on this site. Faster speeds do not happen automatically so to benefit you will need to contact your internet service provider to upgrade. If you have any problems upgrading please contact us at info@inorthumberland.org.uk and we will try and resolve them.

You need to have a telephone line, broadband service and wireless router per property.

What are the benefits of having superfast broadband?

Why do guests want Superfast Wi-Fi?

1. Share holiday photos and videos on social media
2. Stay connected to work
3. Research and review local restaurants and
attractions online
4. Video chat to family and friends
5. Download & watch movies on a rainy day
6. People have become accustomed to these services at home and expect the same level of service when they go on holiday

Why do holiday cottage owners want superfast broadband?

1. Make your guests happy by offering free superfast Wi-Fi with a smart TV so they can watch catch up TV and stream movies
2. Develop your brand by promoting special offers on Facebook and Twitter
3. Publish promotional and testimonial videos on YouTube and on your website
4. Your guests expect it and you can remain competitive by providing it

Things to think about

You have two options – Wi-Fi Hotspot or full router access

Option 1: Using Wi-Fi Hotspots
You can offer wi-fi access to your customers using wi-fi hotspots (eg. BT Wi-fi). This should be possible with most broadband hubs.

Option 2: Setting up Public Wi-Fi
Offer all guests free wi-fi by installing a business wireless router that provides a separate wi-fi network for the public.

If you are unsure of how to install either of these options contact your internet service provider for advice or email us for help: info@inorthumberland.org.uk

Check the signal in different parts of the house, especially if you have thick stone walls in your cottage. It’s no good having 80Mbps in the hall if you can’t get a signal in the living room! Extensions which use the internal electrics can work well if you can’t relocate the router or want to reach into other areas like bedrooms. The main thing to think about is what experience you want to offer your guests and then talk to your service provider to see how they can help you offer the service you want.

Download limits – You will need to check with your provider what the limits are for your package and how they apply them. Be aware that some providers warn you but carry on and bill for the excess, while others limit the bandwidth until the end of the month to stop you exceeding them. This will probably be more of a problem if you use satellite. However, there is usually a “fair use clause” so it might be worth copying this into the rental T&Cs in case of unreasonable behaviour. This is something you need to think about in terms of your marketing offer, but guests usage will vary. One week they might just want to check urgent emails, the next stream TV and film content all week if it rains!

Parental controls – Service providers offer a huge variety of options and as a cottage owner it would be impossible to satisfy everyone from week to week. It is probably best to be clear to guests what your standard setup is.

What if superfast broadband is not available to me yet?

20160906_164813If your holiday property is one of the approximately 5% of properties that cannot order a superfast broadband package there are still options available to you. A second phase of fibre rollout has begun. Complete the form at here and if it becomes available to your property in the future we will email you to let you know.

In the meantime there are other options available to you. If your property has access to speeds of less than 2Mbps you may be eligible for a grant to help towards the cost of installing satellite or wireless broadband. Further information and an application form can be found here

Availability Checker

We are currently experiencing issues with the post code checker on our website. For an up to date view on plans for your area please email us.

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