Unlimited data and easy and secure casting it’s what your guests are asking for!

Accom Management Guide Spring 2018

The average household in Australia is going through on average 200Gb of data per month and this figure is set to rise dramatically.

The growth is coming from the ability to stream everything – Netflix, Stan, Foxtel, and YouTube. You name it, we are streaming it. Even free-to-air TV can be streamed and all the freeto- air sites have on-demand channels now to download and watch shows later.

Adam Turner from Brisbane Times Technology wrote on the September 5 2018, that house-hold fixed data usage grew 40 percent in the last 12 months to July 2018 which is a steady year on year growth for the last five years, according to the latest Telstra figures.

The data demand is being fed by the NBN roll out, with monthly households leaping by 50 percent once on the NBN; however, households on ADSL are still managing to download 23 percent more data in the last year too. The average Telstra household now consumes 196GB per month, breaking down to 210GB for homes on the NBN and 153GB for those still on ADSL.

So now that we Aussies have the hunger for streaming at home, we want to be able to do it whenever we go on holidays. We expect to be able to do it whenever we go on holidays and overseas visitors have expected it for some time.

As an accommodation provider, you need to provide the correct environment for them to watch their own content at your site:
Three key elements for a successful guest experience.

  1. You need an in-room guest wifi system – where every unit has its own wireless modem or access point to connect to connect to. Good strong signal.
  2. You need a guest wifi system that allows for an ‘at home’ experience, whereby every unit has a secure network within it. Login once with a device and you are online – just as you would at home.
    This allows for the easy and secure connectivity of SmartTVs, casting devices, gaming devices, home assistants. They don’t have to keep going through a login screen to access the internet. Without this
    set up, devices need to be MAC Authenticated which the guest generally cannot do themselves and will require support from your wifi provider.
  3. You need a fast and reliable internet connection or connections – you may need multiple NBN connections or a fibre connection depending on your complexes size. You need to offer unlimited data to your guests – it is suggested to give a minimum of 12Mbps per unit (equivalent to three standard definition Netflix streams occurring in that unit at the one time). This should go up depending on the size of the unit, e.g a three bedroom may need more speed for more people and devices. The demographic is important too and younger people may require more speed with YouTube being a favoured site and heavy in usage – it can deliver high definition video streams. If you have more bandwidth, give them more.

We understand that guests have their own subscriptions to Foxtel, Netflix, Stan etc and can take them wherever they go. How they watch them is where you come in.

So how do you offer this to your guests?
Unfortunately, it isn’t as simple as having a SmartTV connected to your guest wifi in each unit.

Supplying a SmartTV in each unit – every SmartTV is different and has their own capabilities and features. Some have a casting application within them which means that the guest can bring their own subscription e.g Netflix and cast it on to the SmartTV from their device (smartphone, pad device, laptop) and continue watching their own content. None of their personal information or login details are stored or accidentally stored on the SmartTV, only on their device.

Your SmartTV may have all the apps for Netflix, Stan, Hulu, etc on it which will show as icons on the screen. However, you will need to ensure that you keep those apps updated at all times to the latest versions. Newer SmartTVs will update automatically. Some older SmartTVs can’t be updated to the latest apps. If you do have the latest streaming apps on the TV, the guest can login on the SmartTV app with their own subscription login details and continue to watch their own content. They must remember to delete their history once finished and departing your site otherwise the next guest will have access to their account and see their viewing history.

You may want to provide a Netflix account for your guests on the SmartTV. The problem with this can be privacy as the next guest can see what the previous guest has watched. Netflix hasn’t yet in Australia released a commercial product suited to the accommodation industry.

What are all these devices guests are bringing with them and wanting to connect through your guest wifi? What do they do?
We feel one of the easiest ways to allow guests to watch their own content at your site is for the guest to be able to bring their own devices to connect to your guest wifi and TV to view their own content. Alternatively, you can supply the device or hire the device to them. You need an “at home” guest wifi system as most of these devices do not have a browser to allow login details to be entered to access the guest wifi. Casting devices generally won’t work securely unless you have a separate secure network for each apartment.

Some examples are: Google Chromecast and Apple TVs – they plug into the HDMI port of the television (does not have to be a SmartTV) and turns the TV into a SmartTV so the guest can cast their own content securely. They don’t have to remember to delete anything from the TV aIerwards. Just unplug the device from the TV. Some other examples of the devices guests are bringing are Telstra TVs, Amazon Fire TV, X Box and PlayStation gaming devices and home assistants such as Google Home, just to name a few.

The biggest mover and shaker we have seen of late is the Foxtel Now device that allows guests to bring their own Foxtel subscriptions with them. They are a cheap device to purchase (approx $99) and you choose the subscriptions you want that you can turn on and off as you need them (check Foxtel’s terms and conditions for all the information).

Investing in the correct guest wifi system is important so that you are future proofing you site. Fast, easy and secure connectivity so guests can bring their own content is something you need to start considering now.