Free internet at Marriott hotels - if you're part of the furniture

Marriott has announced that internet access is to be free for Gold and Platinum-tier members of its Marriott Rewards loyalty program.

The announcement gives the brand's most loyal customers access to free internet in any Marriott hotel around the world - although you'll need to stay around 50 nights to reach that Gold level.

Compared to the free internet offered to all by Radisson Hotels, Holiday Inn Express and Andaz hotels (to name a few), Marriott's decision is a step in the right direction, but only a starting one.

A survey recently released by hotel technology firm Quadriga gives a clue as to why Marriott may want to enfranchise the rest of those surfers soon - the firm found that 62 percent of respondents found having a reliable internet connection was almost as important as decent bathroom facilities (70 percent) and a comfortable bed (68 percent).

Although Quadriga surveyed business travelers in the UK, it's a request that's being recognized and responded to around the world, with 93 percent of hotels in the US offering internet access (according to a recent survey by the American Hotel and Lodging Association).

However, guests wanting a connection as fast as the one in their homes may have to think again - Quadriga points out that offering the same service speed as a home broadband line to every room in a 100-bedroom hotel "would mean supplying around one gigabit of bandwidth, which is enormous and would be very expensive to achieve."

http://www.marriott.com

http://www.quadriga.com

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