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white pine

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DH is at a motel and just called on a calling card. No cell reception. Got us thinking, yesterday while at the lodge, there was no cell reception when I tried a call. Neither the lodge or motel have in room phones. (Lodge has an old wood phone booth minus phone in the lobby). Obviously, we will have to do something. Looks like satellite for internet service too right now. Suggestions??
 

Innkeep

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Particularly because it will take some time for you to finish the remodel, you might try to see how long it will be before wireless companies anticipate getting a cell tower in your neck of the woods. It's possible that the problem might solve itself.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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One solution I've used is to offer a guest phone in the common area with free phone calls anywhere on a VOIP line. It needs to be in a quiet corner where the sound won't travel but that's easy for guests to find, too. It doesn't cost much and reaps a big benefit in guest satisfaction.
A lot of folks use Skype these days so if they've got a pretty decent wifi connection, they'll be okay.
And that's key to whatever you do. You'll want good wifi for the guests. As long as they have that, they'll be happy to deal with the phone situation.
In an old motel like that, the walls are not generally well-insulated between the rooms. Use the lack of phones to your advantage, building on the get-away-from-it-all value, and just be sure to provide them with an easy way to make calls if they need to.
But the last thing you want in a place with not-so-thick walls is guests gabbing away. Keeping the rooms phone-free is a really good option to consider if noise is an issue.
 

white pine

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One solution I've used is to offer a guest phone in the common area with free phone calls anywhere on a VOIP line. It needs to be in a quiet corner where the sound won't travel but that's easy for guests to find, too. It doesn't cost much and reaps a big benefit in guest satisfaction.
A lot of folks use Skype these days so if they've got a pretty decent wifi connection, they'll be okay.
And that's key to whatever you do. You'll want good wifi for the guests. As long as they have that, they'll be happy to deal with the phone situation.
In an old motel like that, the walls are not generally well-insulated between the rooms. Use the lack of phones to your advantage, building on the get-away-from-it-all value, and just be sure to provide them with an easy way to make calls if they need to.
But the last thing you want in a place with not-so-thick walls is guests gabbing away. Keeping the rooms phone-free is a really good option to consider if noise is an issue..
The motel is actually insulated between rooms; never heard more than a muffle from the TV next door. I was thinking about a commons phone, but I do envision running to get people for phone messages all the time.

I have been thinking of limiting the renovation to the lake-front part of the "T" of the building. That could still give me 10 rooms /suites w. baths, but might allow me to use some of the back hall rooms for computer rooms or other uses. There is an initiative to install high speed internet to every address in the county--hope it happens!.
 

MTLLodge

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Where we are at it all depends on what cell phone company you have. Just because 1 doesn't work doesn't mean another won't. Can you hear me now......can you hear me now.... (I just had to do that)
 

egoodell

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I prefer the Sprint plug in for computer online rather than the satelite. But you should check with your neighbors as to what works best. Remember, the satelite reception at least for TV does not word during storms. I'm not sure about computer access. There's a reason they say "works so long as you have a CLEAR view of the sky"...
RIi
 

white pine

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Where we are at it all depends on what cell phone company you have. Just because 1 doesn't work doesn't mean another won't. Can you hear me now......can you hear me now.... (I just had to do that)
.
Very true. Where we are NOW there is NO cell reception. At the lodge, there are towers in the area, so it may just be with the "can you hear me now" folks.... That WOULD be nice.

 

white pine

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I prefer the Sprint plug in for computer online rather than the satelite. But you should check with your neighbors as to what works best. Remember, the satelite reception at least for TV does not word during storms. I'm not sure about computer access. There's a reason they say "works so long as you have a CLEAR view of the sky"...
RIi.
We checked w/Sprint--no coverage in this area; 1/2 mile north in the forest yes; in town--no! Go figure!
 

Innkeeper To Go

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The really great thing about living in the country where there's no cell coverage is that neighbors talk to each other in the grocery store, instead of talking to a box in their hand.
Once you get used to it, you won't want to go back to all the chatter. The chatter isolates communities. The quiet brings them together.
 

seashanty

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i used a magicjack connected to one old computer wifi'd in ... in a corner/nook of a common area. they could call anywhere in the u.s.
i told people over and over (and over) again ... no cell signal. most found it hard to believe. but after the shock, many said it was refreshing to be out of cell phone reach. many guests really did NOT believe me until they got to where i was.
 

JBloggs

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Speaking of living in the country...I just saw the housekeeper at stuffmart that I hired who no-showed. Sorry, aggravating to me, she could have made some $ here, but that would require working, easier to bludge on the dole.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Speaking of living in the country...I just saw the housekeeper at stuffmart that I hired who no-showed. Sorry, aggravating to me, she could have made some $ here, but that would require working, easier to bludge on the dole..
That's the other thing about living in the country. You're going to see folks whether you want to or not; it really pays to be on good terms with everyone.
 

Breakfast Diva

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I prefer the Sprint plug in for computer online rather than the satelite. But you should check with your neighbors as to what works best. Remember, the satelite reception at least for TV does not word during storms. I'm not sure about computer access. There's a reason they say "works so long as you have a CLEAR view of the sky"...
RIi.
We checked w/Sprint--no coverage in this area; 1/2 mile north in the forest yes; in town--no! Go figure!
.
We live in the country with no cell service and are stuck with sattelite internet/wi-fi. A MAJOR problem with sattelite internet is that you are limited to how much bandwith you use per week. We are limited to 2 gig per week ($90 per month) which is download and upload combined. We have to warn our guests that they can not send or receive large files, updates, download movies or streaming video. Last week one of our guests obviously didn't pay attention, because our service was cut off with no warning. The sattelite company said we used 1.2 gig in one day which put us over the limit for the week. It's so frustrating!
As far as no cell phone coverage, you can offer a guest phone with unlimited long distance coverage, but the real problem is that parents are very anxious and can't relax if grandma or babysitter can not call them if there is a problem or emergency. What I've done as part of my check-in process is to inform them there is no cell coverage (panic on their faces at this point), and make sure that they have given the child care provider our business phone as an EMERGENCY number. I then have to assure them that we answer the phone 24 hours a day (yes, even at 3:00am) and if there is an emergency, we will come and get them. At that point, they are able to relax and accept the fact that are not connected.
These are two huge issues for those of us in the country, but we still love all the positives that come along with it too!
 

Innkeeper To Go

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I prefer the Sprint plug in for computer online rather than the satelite. But you should check with your neighbors as to what works best. Remember, the satelite reception at least for TV does not word during storms. I'm not sure about computer access. There's a reason they say "works so long as you have a CLEAR view of the sky"...
RIi.
We checked w/Sprint--no coverage in this area; 1/2 mile north in the forest yes; in town--no! Go figure!
.
We live in the country with no cell service and are stuck with sattelite internet/wi-fi. A MAJOR problem with sattelite internet is that you are limited to how much bandwith you use per week. We are limited to 2 gig per week ($90 per month) which is download and upload combined. We have to warn our guests that they can not send or receive large files, updates, download movies or streaming video. Last week one of our guests obviously didn't pay attention, because our service was cut off with no warning. The sattelite company said we used 1.2 gig in one day which put us over the limit for the week. It's so frustrating!
As far as no cell phone coverage, you can offer a guest phone with unlimited long distance coverage, but the real problem is that parents are very anxious and can't relax if grandma or babysitter can not call them if there is a problem or emergency. What I've done as part of my check-in process is to inform them there is no cell coverage (panic on their faces at this point), and make sure that they have given the child care provider our business phone as an EMERGENCY number. I then have to assure them that we answer the phone 24 hours a day (yes, even at 3:00am) and if there is an emergency, we will come and get them. At that point, they are able to relax and accept the fact that are not connected.
These are two huge issues for those of us in the country, but we still love all the positives that come along with it too!
.
Breakfast Diva said:
As far as no cell phone coverage, you can offer a guest phone with unlimited long distance coverage, but the real problem is that parents are very anxious and can't relax if grandma or babysitter can not call them if there is a problem or emergency.
Get a couple of extra phone numbers for your VOIP line and a couple of extra handsets. Give the nervous parents a handset and their own private call-in number to take to their room. It works like a charm.
 

Breakfast Diva

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I prefer the Sprint plug in for computer online rather than the satelite. But you should check with your neighbors as to what works best. Remember, the satelite reception at least for TV does not word during storms. I'm not sure about computer access. There's a reason they say "works so long as you have a CLEAR view of the sky"...
RIi.
We checked w/Sprint--no coverage in this area; 1/2 mile north in the forest yes; in town--no! Go figure!
.
We live in the country with no cell service and are stuck with sattelite internet/wi-fi. A MAJOR problem with sattelite internet is that you are limited to how much bandwith you use per week. We are limited to 2 gig per week ($90 per month) which is download and upload combined. We have to warn our guests that they can not send or receive large files, updates, download movies or streaming video. Last week one of our guests obviously didn't pay attention, because our service was cut off with no warning. The sattelite company said we used 1.2 gig in one day which put us over the limit for the week. It's so frustrating!
As far as no cell phone coverage, you can offer a guest phone with unlimited long distance coverage, but the real problem is that parents are very anxious and can't relax if grandma or babysitter can not call them if there is a problem or emergency. What I've done as part of my check-in process is to inform them there is no cell coverage (panic on their faces at this point), and make sure that they have given the child care provider our business phone as an EMERGENCY number. I then have to assure them that we answer the phone 24 hours a day (yes, even at 3:00am) and if there is an emergency, we will come and get them. At that point, they are able to relax and accept the fact that are not connected.
These are two huge issues for those of us in the country, but we still love all the positives that come along with it too!
.
Breakfast Diva said:
As far as no cell phone coverage, you can offer a guest phone with unlimited long distance coverage, but the real problem is that parents are very anxious and can't relax if grandma or babysitter can not call them if there is a problem or emergency.
Get a couple of extra phone numbers for your VOIP line and a couple of extra handsets. Give the nervous parents a handset and their own private call-in number to take to their room. It works like a charm.
.
"Get a couple of extra phone numbers for your VOIP line and a couple of extra handsets. Give the nervous parents a handset and their own private call-in number to take to their room. It works like a charm"
Does VOIP take up a lot of bandwith?
 

Innkeeper To Go

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I prefer the Sprint plug in for computer online rather than the satelite. But you should check with your neighbors as to what works best. Remember, the satelite reception at least for TV does not word during storms. I'm not sure about computer access. There's a reason they say "works so long as you have a CLEAR view of the sky"...
RIi.
We checked w/Sprint--no coverage in this area; 1/2 mile north in the forest yes; in town--no! Go figure!
.
We live in the country with no cell service and are stuck with sattelite internet/wi-fi. A MAJOR problem with sattelite internet is that you are limited to how much bandwith you use per week. We are limited to 2 gig per week ($90 per month) which is download and upload combined. We have to warn our guests that they can not send or receive large files, updates, download movies or streaming video. Last week one of our guests obviously didn't pay attention, because our service was cut off with no warning. The sattelite company said we used 1.2 gig in one day which put us over the limit for the week. It's so frustrating!
As far as no cell phone coverage, you can offer a guest phone with unlimited long distance coverage, but the real problem is that parents are very anxious and can't relax if grandma or babysitter can not call them if there is a problem or emergency. What I've done as part of my check-in process is to inform them there is no cell coverage (panic on their faces at this point), and make sure that they have given the child care provider our business phone as an EMERGENCY number. I then have to assure them that we answer the phone 24 hours a day (yes, even at 3:00am) and if there is an emergency, we will come and get them. At that point, they are able to relax and accept the fact that are not connected.
These are two huge issues for those of us in the country, but we still love all the positives that come along with it too!
.
Breakfast Diva said:
As far as no cell phone coverage, you can offer a guest phone with unlimited long distance coverage, but the real problem is that parents are very anxious and can't relax if grandma or babysitter can not call them if there is a problem or emergency.
Get a couple of extra phone numbers for your VOIP line and a couple of extra handsets. Give the nervous parents a handset and their own private call-in number to take to their room. It works like a charm.
.
"Get a couple of extra phone numbers for your VOIP line and a couple of extra handsets. Give the nervous parents a handset and their own private call-in number to take to their room. It works like a charm"
Does VOIP take up a lot of bandwith?
.
It does use a good amount. But in my experience, the guests mostly want the comfort and security of having a phone with them and don't necessarily actually use it. Even with a guest phone in the common area, it's surprising how little use the phone would get.
 

Copperhead

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I know very little about this topic - maybe enough to get me in serious trouble! This may help to begin your research, sounds like you have time to really research all the possiblities anyway.
I have been contacted by many different companies wanting my WiFi business. Most of course are thinking we are hotel establishment size but they did have some great ideas offered a range of plans. So in thinking of your delima, I am thinking that maybe a company that works primarily with businesses may be your best avenue to address this. If one of these companies would provide you a service that would serve your needs on your (possible) bandwidth use at a decent price, you could set up VoIP phone service as well all under one bill with no long distance charges either!
Wishing you luck!
 
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