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Author Topic: Charging for internet usage  (Read 1083 times)

Weaver

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Charging for internet usage
« on: August 08, 2018, 02:37:04 AM »

Is there a way that I could charge Mrs Weaver's B&B guests for internet downloads and uploads per MB so that we could make a profit out of reselling connectivity? Acquiring additional bandwidth costs us an awful lot and 4G usage is very expensive. Also if it is too much of a pain to administer, meter and collect the cash, then Mrs Weaver will not be interested, because she has enough on her plate.

Obviously hotels have integrated systems in place but they are likely to be way too big and too costly for us, as Janet has just about the smallest hotel in the world with only two rooms. I am looking for a shortcut trick that is very cheap.

I very much doubt that this is feasible but I wondered if anyone has any good ideas.
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Ixel

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Re: Charging for internet usage
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2018, 09:47:18 AM »

A freeware RADIUS server which includes 'accounting' should do the job, as long as the means of 'logging in' is simple enough for your guests. You should then be able to track their data usage.
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Ronski

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Re: Charging for internet usagerate
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2018, 10:16:23 AM »

The cheapest option is to charge a flat rate per night and setup a WiFi network per room and simply change the wireless key for the respective room as required. You could limit the amount of devices allowed to connect each network to stop key sharing with occupants of the other room.

It would be worth explaining in your info folder why you charge, most people expect free WiFi, but  a short explanation that you have four lines to get broadband will explain it.
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chenks

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Re: Charging for internet usagerate
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2018, 10:54:25 AM »

The cheapest option is to charge a flat rate per night and setup a WiFi network per room and simply change the wireless key for the respective room as required. You could limit the amount of devices allowed to connect each network to stop key sharing with occupants of the other room.

It would be worth explaining in your info folder why you charge, most people expect free WiFi, but  a short explanation that you have four lines to get broadband will explain it.

i'm not sure many will care (or understand why) how many lines it takes or how the internet is delivered, most just want access and usually expect it for free.

also, trying to explain why Mrs X has an internet bill because her phone uploaded photos to the cloud whilst connected to WIFI might be a tough sell, and may end up giving the B&B a bad rep.
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kitz

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Re: Charging for internet usage
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2018, 12:11:24 PM »

I think I'd be tempted to agree with Ronski.     You perhaps don't need to go into the 4 line detail, but perhaps just keep it simple by saying additional overhead costs due to the remote location.     I should image most people would understand that.

Quote
Mrs X has an internet bill because her phone uploaded photos to the cloud whilst connected to WIFI might be a tough sell, and may end up giving the B&B a bad rep.

Valid point and many guests may not be aware that this could happen... and why perhaps it may be better just to charge a flat rate fee rather than by usage.

Most of the hotels I've stayed in either
(a) offer it free   
(b) offer it free but you only get low bit rate with option to upgrade  or
(c) charge a flat rate fee per night.
Unless they are part of a large group I don't think many hotels charge for Mb actually used due to complexity of administration. 
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licquorice

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Re: Charging for internet usage
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2018, 12:18:15 PM »

I have to say I've never known any hotel to charge per MB and I've stayed in a lot of large group business hotels.
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DaveC

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Re: Charging for internet usage
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2018, 01:57:08 PM »

From your other posts, I understand you're on A&A's old "Units" tariff?  If so, then that would be a very dangerous thing to let your guests use - 2.5GB/month/unit during daytime hours will quickly go.

With the SoHo::1 tariff now giving you 5TB a month, I would be more inclined to move to one (or more) lines on that tariff (the others would need to be on the lower-bandwidth SoHo::1 tariffs to bond them), and then recover that cost by giving your guests unlimted access for a flat-rate daily charge.

As others have said, I don't think guests would want to have to worry about their usage being charged by the MB - I know I definitely wouldn't.
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boost

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Re: Charging for internet usage
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2018, 02:17:56 PM »

Easily doable, no doubt but proceed with caution, perhaps?

The last thing I want to have to think about is metering my usage in a hotel/bnb and if it ever caused me to have to allocate even a minute of my time to it's consideration, I would likely look elsewhere for accommodation next time.
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boost

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Re: Charging for internet usage
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2018, 02:22:47 PM »

As an aside, A&A is starting to sound like a massive pain in the ass?

No CPE QoS and pay per GB??

Do you really need bonding or would 4 el cheapo lines from PN/TT and an open source load balancer do the trick for you?

I appreciate you may have this setup coz it's cool and don't actually *need* anything :)
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jelv

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Re: Charging for internet usage
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2018, 07:14:51 PM »

If uploading is an issue (as Weaver has said previously) surely load balancing is an absolute non-starter as even if he had 10 lines, each upload would only go up a single line (i.e. at around 400-500Kbps). With bonding he will be getting approaching 2Mbps upload.

I think you'd only have to move one line to SOHO::1 - £60 + VAT for 5000GB (or Home::1 £50 for 2000GB) and have the other three lines on the lowest possible charge (would staying on the units based charging with the minimum 2 units be cheaper than SOHO?) as the usage is balanced across all lines.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Charging for internet usage
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2018, 07:44:18 PM »

Main point that occurs to me is, at present, I bet at least some, maybe most most of your guests appreciate the location and will be sympathetic to the fact that internet throughout is suboptimal.   But if you start charging, might they become less sympathetic, leaving bad reviews etc?

Would it not be an option to just restrict bandwidth on the guest’s lan so that, even if they are greedy, you still have some left for yourselves?
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Ixel

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Re: Charging for internet usage
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2018, 09:15:13 PM »

If uploading is an issue (as Weaver has said previously) surely load balancing is an absolute non-starter as even if he had 10 lines, each upload would only go up a single line (i.e. at around 400-500Kbps). With bonding he will be getting approaching 2Mbps upload.

I think you'd only have to move one line to SOHO::1 - £60 + VAT for 5000GB (or Home::1 £50 for 2000GB) and have the other three lines on the lowest possible charge (would staying on the units based charging with the minimum 2 units be cheaper than SOHO?) as the usage is balanced across all lines.

Yeah that's possible as long as all of the lines are on the same type of tariff then you can have a mix of quotas. For my two lines I have SoHo::1 at the moment and one is 5TB while the other is the lowest quota I can order (200GB I believe), but they automatically balance the quota between them. I don't know if you could have all four lines together with only one on SoHo::1 or Home::1 while the other three are still on the 'legacy' units based tariff, I somehow think that's not do-able.
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DaveC

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Re: Charging for internet usage
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2018, 09:41:05 PM »

AAISP used to sell extra lines with no quota at all for bonding - I'm guessing Weaver has that arrangement.  So he will have Units on one line, and no explicit quota on the others.

I don't think AAISP have offered this for a while, but perhaps they would let Weaver convert his units line to SoHo::1 and keep the others as "no quota".

But yes, as Ixel said, in general bonded lines have to belong to the same quota "family" - Home::1, SoHo::1, Units etc.  You can't mix them.

I'm similar - Home::1 2TB on line 1, Home::1 200GB on line 2.
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Weaver

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Re: Charging for internet usage
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2018, 02:00:57 AM »

I just have traditional units on all lines so I pay x per line plus £3.90 * 2 per month for traffic. And I get more than I can use because it is only £3.90 per TB [!] overnight. So I do massive downloads overnight, four hour downloads flat out and then have stuff to use offline in the day.

I could not give guests ADSL, do not have the bandwidth to spare. And just like you say, would end up with people moaning like the Waldorf Salad, and bad reviews etc because it is not free and not 50Mbps per users. I could resell 4G, or just tell them to use 4G, even give them a free SIM if they don't have one (foreign sim, wrong network - Vodafone definitely useless also O2 poss for some reason). But the latter option would mean that I don't make any profit from it. and have the admin. And free SIMs see, to be more difficult to get hold of these days for some reason. I have stayed in hotels where they charge you x per day or even per hour and no usage metering. But i think guests in hotels like free internet. If I stay at the Savoy in London, I wonder if there is free internet, maybe 1 Gbps per guest and 802.1ac wave 2 would be nice.

Saying we have no internet to offer, is part of the remoteness myth romantic off the grid thing and you have excellent 4G anyway. But in the future some people may be Waldorf Salads, and we are fresh out of waldorfs.

If I pay for FTTP ethernet at £100k, then I need the guest to repay me. and they won't can't and there are not enough of them. But that is what they will expect.
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chenks

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Re: Charging for internet usage
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2018, 08:04:40 AM »

If I pay for FTTP ethernet at £100k, then I need the guest to repay me. and they won't can't and there are not enough of them. But that is what they will expect.

i'm not sure that's the right mentality (if that is the right word to use).
you should be looking at it as an investment in the business rather than something you would want the guests to pay for.

i assume that if you did get FTTP installed then you would use it as well, and it wouldn't just be limited to guest use only.
would you expect the guests to pay for replacing all your towels or bed sheets?
WIFI is just another "service" that your business would offer and as such should be seen as a business investment.
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