Normally the one to highlight when something is done badly, I also want to give praise where it is due.
I’m currently staying in a Premier Inn in leafy Abingdon. The data service here that I’d normally tether to is next to non-existent, dropping out all over the place. It looks like I’m in the shadow of some structure, between me and the Three UK antenna. There are also a couple of water courses in between, which might be hindering the signal.
So, I’m forced onto one of my pet hates, paid-for hotel wifi. Remember that Premier Inn are marketed as a “no frills” hotel – but they are almost always spotlessly clean and consistent.
It was either pony up for that or go and track down (and pay for) an O2 PAYG data sim, as I do at least have line of sight from my room here to one of their masts.
Firstly, I fired up Wifi Explorer, and took a look at what is deployed here.
Not only was the 2.4GHz likely to work okay, but they also had 5GHz too!
So, I decided that it was worth a spin. I signed up for the free half hour. Then I actually found I could get real work done on this connection, so I gave it a speed test.
Not only have they got 5GHz, but they have recently slashed their prices. Some would say that it should be free anyway, but £3 for the day, or £20 for a month seemed a reasonable deal, especially if you’re staying in a Premier Inn a lot (I’m actually back here again next week).
I’ve not tried connecting multiple devices simultaneously using the same login, but I suspect you can’t, which is possibly the only downside.
However, big props to the folks at Premier Inn for actually having a wifi install that works, even if that means having to pay for it. I’ve seen much worse services in high-end hotels which have under-provisioned, congested (and often expensive) 2.4GHz networks.
Credit where it is earned, indeed.