The availability and reliability of Wi-Fi is an important topic for both holiday and residential parks. On holiday parks there will undoubtedly be guests who expect to be able to access the internet (perhaps free of charge) to plan their holiday and on residential parks residents will expect access to reliable internet as you would if you lived in a bricks and mortar home.
But installing and supplying the internet can be costly and the question then becomes whether or not you should pass that cost on to your guests/residents?
On holiday parks this issue may be addressed by charging for access to the internet or by providing internet access only in communal areas for a limited amount of time for free. However with reports stating that access to the internet is more important than ever before will you put guests off if you charge for Wi-Fi access?
On residential parks, in this modern age residents will expect to be able to access the internet and to have a reliable, fast, uninterrupted service. Therefore should a site owner pass on the cost of supply and installation of the internet in the next pitch fee review and if so how is the cost apportioned between the homes?
Last week Virgin Media announced that it was investing £3 billion into its fibre optic broadband network. However there was some criticism of the announcement when it became apparent that the investment from Virgin Media would strengthen the current network Virgin Media already has as opposed to extending its network to often neglected rural areas. This proposal presents difficulties to many holiday and residential parks which are often situated in idyllic rural areas.
Although, late last week a smaller internet service provider, Gigaclear, stepped into the fold announcing an investment of £6.5 million into a scheme for broadband in rural areas.
Investment in the internet is ripe and the Government has pledged to ‘achieve a transformation in broadband access’ which it predicts will stimulate the economy. It has therefore created a Super Connected Cities scheme which provides ‘connection vouchers’ of up to £3,000 to small and medium sized businesses to enable them to connect to faster, higher quality broadband. Enter your postcode on the website to see if you are based in an eligible area. Please note that the Voucher Scheme ends on 31 March 2015.
Residential and holiday parks could benefit substantially from improving the internet service they provide as in this modern world it is a fact of life that people prefer to stay ‘switched on’ rather than ‘switching off’.
Holiday and Home Parks Team
0113 2279 203