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Bed, Breakfast & Broadband!- Reflections of a Reluctant Landlady

Updated: Apr 17

One of the early, crucial lessons I learned whilst managing our first venue, a bustling coaching inn with up to 30 bed and breakfast guests at any one time, was the significance of having a dedicated business broadband system. In our area, broadband connectivity was notoriously unreliable and at the time there was only one provider in the area. We inherited our broadband system from the previous leaseholders.  However, we didn't have a distinct separate broadband set up for business operations or a backup plan, just a separate guest area, a gap that soon became apparent. Looking back, it was a rookie mistake, perhaps forgivable when opening a large complex venue, but with serious consequences which left us with weeks of frustration.


The Day Our Broadband Failed: A Lesson in Preparedness

One fateful day, our broadband service failed. Our team spent hours resetting multiple routers and communicating with customer support, to no avail. Essential tasks like accessing guest check-in information and printing kitchen orders were suddenly impossible. Staff and customers were getting frustrated, and the pressure was on.


The root of the problem was unexpected: one of our guests, or perhaps a live-in staff member, had been streaming heavily inappropriate adult content. Despite explaining our situation as an 11-bedroom B&B to our provider, they held us accountable for not controlling our network usage more closely.


After much pleading, our internet service provider eventually restored our connection. We promptly reached out to their customer services to upgrade our system, scheduling an engineer's visit to put in a separate supply. Yet, the solution was not straightforward. The engineer, untrained for work on our flat-roofed extension, left without resolving the issue. We were astounded that he was trained to climb on sloping double storey roofs but could not work on a single storey flat roof.  We were therefore left to wait for another engineer.


Complications continued as our internet was again disconnected due to similar issues. Our struggle with manual systems persisted until the next appointment, which, to our dismay, brought back the same engineer, who was, surprise, surprise still untrained to work on flat roofs. After extensive negotiations, we took matters into our own hands – quite literally – by carrying out the necessary work on the roof under the engineer's guidance, as he watched from the safety of his own ladder!


The Importance of a Robust Broadband System in Hospitality

Ultimately, we established a separate, controlled broadband system, learning a valuable lesson in the process. For those in the hospitality industry with guest or staff accommodation, it's imperative to have a robust broadband setup. Ensure you have distinct boundaries, appropriate controls, and a contingency plan for unexpected failures. And a friendly reminder to guests: perhaps opt for family-friendly content like the Disney channel during your stay!



A picture of a busy restaurant where people are looking irritated and a waitress is looking frazzled in the foreground.

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