Beverly Hilton Now Offering Guests High-Speed Internet Connectivity

BEVERLY HILLS, CA? Guests checking into the Beverly Hills Hilton can plug their laptops into a new system and enjoy access to the Internet at lighting-fast speeds of up to 10 megabytes per second. More than 200 rooms of the 581-room hotel recently had the CAIS Internet?s OverVoice voice/data system installed. During a recent tour of the property, hotel staff demonstrated the technology. It?s fast and easy to use. A guest connects the OverVoice DeskJack cord into their laptop?s Ethernet card, turns on the computer and when prompted, orders the service from an on-screen menu. The cord goes into a wall jack that connects with the guest-room?s telephone. Internet connectivity is achieved at speeds at least 300 times faster than typical dial-up connections. The Beverly Hilton is charging $9.95 or the service. ?The in-room charges for the service will be billed right to the room folio,? said Guenet Woubu, director of communications for the Beverly Hills Hilton. ?It is very fast, very easy. A convenient service for guests.? What separates this type of technology from others in the market is its ability to allow users to connect to the Internet while not interrupting phone services. The technology works over a hotel?s existing phone lines. Data and voice signals travel over the copper wire simultaneously. It allows the user to check e-mail, visit websites or transfer files while talking on the phone. ?High-speed Internet access is something guests will respond to, I think,? Woubu said. ?And from our perspective, the installation has been easy.? A guestroom is taken out of service for about 15 minutes while the OverVoice DeskJack is installed, which replaces the standard biscuit-style wall jack. There?s no rewiring involved. OverVoice also does not require extra PBX trunks. And once the guestroom is connected, the rest of the installation is completed out of the sight of guests. At each floor in the hotel, a small, wall-mounted control unit is installed that loops the Internet access lines into the phone trunk. Bringing the phone lines online to the OverVoice system takes about five seconds. Requirements for guests to use the technology include a computer with Windows 95, 98 or NT v4.0, an Ethernet card as well as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer. The Beverly Hilton is one of 12 Hilton hotels in the U.S. currently offering the service. Last January, Hilton Hotels announced an agreement with CAIS Internet to install the OverVoice service, systemwide. Installation began first with convention-type properties and hotels located in downtown areas. Hilton officials hope to complete installation of all of its hotels by the year-end. About half of the guestrooms in each hotel will have OverVoice high-speed Internet access. In addition, meeting rooms at selected properties will be equipped with the system. CAIS is offering a two-day training course for hotel staff as well as technical support. There?s also a toll-free, customer support number set up for guests, who can call 24 hours a day. The marketing of OverVoice takes shape with a full-color, glossy, gate-fold brochure that outlines the service and the three steps it takes to connect to the Internet. In addition, the OverVoice DeskJack showcases the service and displays the cost. Both advertisements highlight the OverVoice and Hilton logos. Hilton officials said the service is unique because the application of high-speed Internet access is ideal for business travelers who tend to demand the latest and best technology available.

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