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HT-NEXT Insights From Corning

Jessica Koch, Director – Business Development, Corning

How can hotels best leverage technology right now to meet the challenges of the pandemic and economic downturn?

In order to get guests to return – and also give hotel staff peace of mind about their health and wellbeing—hotels are getting creative and adding more touchless technology to the network. Contactless entry and payment, for example, is a great first step that allows the guest to bypass contact with the front desk employees and head straight to their room. And for employees, touchless access controls are a simple way to reduce their contact with potentially contaminated surfaces as they go to work each day. For properties still turning up these touchless tech options and need to do it fast, one solution on the market is a pre-configured optical LAN that is ready to go out of the box. No training is needed, set-up is plug-and-play, and it’s easy to configure. Solutions like this one answer the “right now” need and can be upgraded to a more robust, fully managed solution later if desired.

How should hoteliers start thinking beyond the pandemic as they chart their tech roadmaps for the coming years?

As new properties go up and existing ones start their next upgrade cycle, ensuring the network can accommodate touchless tech, 5G and more is essential. Hotels that have already adopted Fiber-to-the-Room technology will have a leg up because of its virtually unlimited bandwidth to handle data-hungry applications. This network architecture simplifies the infrastructure, converging all disparate networks onto one for easier management. This will be the enabler for all the hotel tech to come … some of which we know about now and some we haven’t even thought of yet. And with 5G arriving and we incorporate that into properties, fiber is essential to handle the demand it will bring.