Cisco Systems today announced that Clontarf Castle, a hotel in north Dublin dating back to the 12th century, will use a Cisco internet protocol (IP) network to make wireless and high speed internet access available to all its guests from the end of March 2004.
The system will deliver high speed internet access in bedrooms and conference facilities. In addition all ground floor locations such as restaurants, the bar, lobbies and conference centre will also have a hot-spot facility which will be available 24 hours a day. Access pin numbers will be provided by reception.
Cisco’s recent successful deployment of a similar system at a sister hotel, the Crowne Plaza at Dublin Airport, was a factor in Clontarf Castle’s decsion, said John O’Connor, finance director. “I can only equate the decision to provide high speed internet and hotspots in hotels today with the decision to put telephones in guest rooms years ago. We were lucky that our recent successful implementation in the Crowne Plaza made the decision to implement a smaller system in our older hotel very easy.
“We have started with internet access due to guest demand and have a plan in place to migrate the hotel to an end-to-end Cisco IP communications system. The real beauty of this system is that we can speed up this process should our business demand it at any point,” continued O’Connor.
IP networks – in which voice and data services are combined on one converged network – have been touted by communications equipment suppliers for several years as offering significant cost and service benefits over traditional systems. Only recently, however, has the technology started to gain acceptance in the marketplace. Hoteliers are seen as a promising market for the technology, which in theory allows them to enhance guest services while cutting down on telecoms costs.
By Brian Skelly