Major Hotel Chains Lose High-Speed Internet Access

Some of the nation's top hotel chains hit a speed bump on the information superhighway in recent weeks, after losing service from their bankrupt high-speed Internet access provider, hotel representatives said on Friday.

As a result of problems that left some properties without service for as much as a month, hotel operators Hilton Hotels Corp., John Q. Hammons Hotels LP and Cendant Corp. said they are all looking for replacements for Ardent Communications Inc., now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Officials from the three companies could not quantify how much business they lost due to the problems, but some damage occurred, said James Lingle, director of information technology for Hammons, which owns 52 hotels under the Embassy Suites, Holiday Inn and Hampton Inn names.

Lingle said that Hammons will terminate its relationship with Ardent on Feb. 1.

Ardent, which filed for bankruptcy in October, had initially specialized in providing broadband Internet access to hotels and apartments.

"I don't have any hard numbers to say we've lost this much business, but it's pretty fair to say that's definitely happened," Lingle said. "When you're down a month with a service you tend to provide to your guests, it's fair to assume it's affected your revenue."

Lingle said that outages at Hammons hotels began as early as October, and have affected at least a half dozen properties since then. He added that service disruptions lasted anywhere from two to as many as four weeks with some clients avoiding the hotel because it could not offer Internet service.

"The explanations varied," he said. "Sometimes they would say the circuit was turned down by the provider, or there was a physical problem with the equipment. ... There was never a clear explanation of why."

News source: Reuters - Major Hotel Chains Lose High-Speed Internet Access

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