I stay at the Fairfield Marriott in Germantown, MD one week out of every month for business. As of mid-december, they switched internet providers to a service that requires a login before you can use it. That doesn't bother me much, however the sudden drop in internet connection speed does. For all intents and purposes, there is no longer internet connection in the hotel. I can pull up the (nonmobile) CNN front page faster on my iPhone, complete with shoddy AT&T service, than I can on any of my laptops.
I spoke with the front desk about this on the day they switched over (I happened to be staying there at the time), and he said that "if anything, it should be faster." I can assure you this isn't the case. It isn't as if I need to do high-bandwidth streaming HD video or something, but the ability to read a fairly ordinary page without a four minute wait time (I actually timed it once) is absolutely necessary for internet connections.
By the way, this is with WIRED connection; I'm doing this on the provided ethernet port in the room. Sadly, I don't really have a choice of hotels or else I would stop using this. I may end up getting a $50/month service just so I have internet access when I leave home, and I'm quite sore with Marriott for forcing me to do so (or give up my main way of communicating with friends and family when away on business).
Thanks for posting this. The Internet speeds are not that fantastic even when they seem to be working at optimal speed. And when they change services it gets even worse. Must be a cost-cutting thing. Have you tried a speed test to determine what the actual speed is and if there are "latency" issues.
My own experience with hotels is that the listed speeds are unbelievable slow and there is some erratic behavior. In both Windows XP and 7 mahines you notice there's a hangup or freeze-- that may be the connection.
Anyway thanks for reminding us that this is an ongoing problem that needs as solution!
I honestly haven't had the patience to go to a speed test site while at this hotel. It takes too long to load.
Incidentally, it isn't a windows thing. The same problem persists on my Mac and my Windows laptops. I'm a software developer; I know my way around computers I'm fairly sure the issue is with the network, not my machines. I generally end up going to a nearby Starbucks, but it's quite annoying not to have internet access in the room (for all intents and purposes).
My primary purpose in posting about this is to bring it to the attention of others, and hopefully Marriott management. Do you really want to annoy your platinum rewards members this much? I actually could change to the Best Western down the street (for 72 nights per year). It's a little less convenient, but being able to go online may end up being worth it. It's cheaper than a Verizon modem.
Best of luck in whatever you decide to do. I was always shocked when I ran Speakeasy (fairly easy to load, takes forever to register an upload and download speed) on a hotel's wired and wireless line. Tortoise speeds at best!
At one RI I even asked engineering to do a reset on the master connection in the Gatehouse, which threw everyone in the place offline, but actually sped up the connection (for a while). I never admitted to other guests who'd asked for that.
I assume Mac's were also in this situation, sorry should have made that clear.
Bottom line: fast Internet access is as important as having a bed in the rooms these days.