InterContinental Hotels tests tiered WiFi offering

UNITED STATES At least three properties in the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts chain are experimenting with a system of tiered WiFi.

Guests at InterContinental Times Square in New York City, InterContinental Chicago and InterContinental Mark Hopkins in San Francisco are being offered the choice between low-bandwidth WiFi for US$10 or high-bandwidth service for US$15.

Drew Schlesinger, general manager of the Times Square property, tells USA Today that it is too early in the program to discern patterns in guest WiFi preferences. But he says guests like having a choice in whether they need the higher bandwidth and are willing to pay more for it. “Not everyone needs (high-bandwidth Internet), and I’d rather offer a lower price for day-to-day use,” he says.

InterContinental is not the first hotel company to try out tiered bandwidth. Golden Tulip Hospitality Group has been offering tiered bandwidth since 2008, while Davidson Hotel Co. started a similar program at select properties earlier this year.