USA Today reports a 300% increase in the demand for hotel WiFi services as business and leisure guests carry more and more devices. David Garrison, CEO of iBahn which provides Internet services to the hospitality and travel industry, sees the rocketing demand will present problems for hotels in the near future.
In his experience the rapid growth in the use of iPads and tablets is already stretching demand, causing slow Internet service at peak times. He foresees that hotels and airports will be forced to increase the band width and that will be the end of unlimited free Internet access for guests.
Almost one third of travelers today carry a smartphone, laptop and a tablet such as the Apple iPad and they are using them more than ever before. The demand for video is particularly heavy and can create a tremendous traffic jam at peak times. Garrison predicts that chains such as Marriott, Hyatt, Starwood and Hilton that currently offer free Internet may change their policy. Guest may be able to check their email for free in the future, but downloading films and video may incur an extra fee.
Last week, I wrote about the ridiculing by the Italian media of the clichéd depiction of Rome in the new movie Eat Pray Love.
I hear that Italy has got huffy again, this time with Apple. The tourism minister is calling on the company to remove from its online store what she says is the ‘offensive’ What Country app relating to Italy.
The application, which can be downloaded to iPhones, iPads and iPods, characterises each nation with words and images. Italy is described as the home of ‘pizza, the Mafia and scooters’.
The minister, Michela Vittoria Brambilla, condemned the app as unacceptable and an affront to Italians’ dignity. “Italy is a beacon in the world for its history, culture and style. I cannot allow our country to be discredited by having it represented by a criminal organisation,” she said.
Apple describes the app as ‘a light-hearted and funny view of the world’. “This is not a travel guide and should not be taken too seriously,” it says. Enjoy and have fun!”
British people are clearly more laid-back about being the butt of friendly ribbing. No objections have yet been received from the UK about having its special features summarised as tea, a weird sense of humour, football hooligans and rain.
by Andy Moreton
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