Increasing numbers of people are using devices while on holiday and when the internet crashes they get grumpy, motel owners say.
Motel owners in a Southland town are copping flak from upset guests in the busy holiday season because the internet keeps cutting out.
The manager of the Red Tussock Motel and Aden Motel in Te Anau, Irene Benfell-Herron, said the wifi was the worst it had been this summer and she put it down to more people having devices.
Nowadays, mum, dad and each of the kids visiting town had a device each, whereas a couple of years ago it may have only been one or two devices per family.
“At the moment, every day our wifi doesn’t work.”
That made for grumpy customers.
“All night long we have guests saying we can’t use the wifi.”
She believed the problem would only get worse and the town needed to plan ahead.
“People can’t cope without their device, they just can’t cope.
“They wouldn’t think of putting it down and going for a walk along the lake.”
Her motels were getting bad online reviews because the wifi didn’t work, she said.
“Winter time we don’t have the problem because we don’t have the same population.”
A technician said the issue came down to congestion in the network.
In some locations in Te Anau the network did not having the capability to cope with the increasing numbers of people using the internet.
The further from the exchange, the slower the connection, he said.
Fibre broadband was coming to Te Anau at some stage , but until then, people would have to tolerate it.
“I sympathise with the motel industry but there’s not a lot you can do if there’s congestion.
“It’s not unusual for a family to have six devices going in a motel and it’s a common problem around New Zealand.”
Te Anau’s Anchorage Motel owner Nigel Humphries, the Hospitality New Zealand Accommodation Advisory Council chairman, said the internet was diabolical in the town this summer.
“This time of the year it cuts out all the time.”
Accommodation providers wanted to look after their guests, he said.
Some guests did not understand Te Anau did not have high speed internet, and with several devices going at once it it slowed it down even more.
“There’s so many people using devices now … at the moment when everyone starts connecting it starts maxing out.
“It’s certainly an ongoing issue.”
Te Anau’s Shakespeare House Bed and Breakfast owner Nathan Benfell said they had implemented a system which capped data and allowed just two devices to be used at once.
They no longer had issues with no internet for the guests.
Some guests became frustrated at not having unlimited wifi but when the B&B had unlimited in the past it crashed the system, he said.
“Some wifi is better than none.”