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Technology

 April 13, 2000
inter-touch Boosts Internet Access For Business Travellers With Ethernet Technology

 Hotel guests will have faster, simpler, in-room access to the Internet with the launch of Ethernet-based connection services from inter-touch. The Ethernet enhancement to inter-touch's internet access product at partner hotels (previously called ConnectTM - now relaunched as Work-LinkTM), results in access speeds of up to 100Mb per second, increased bandwidth for receiving data and 'plug and play' ease of use for guests.

The ANA Hotel Sydney was the first Australian five-star hotel to go live with the new technology, following installations at two Singapore hotels.

inter-touch provides a high-speed, convenient and easy-to-use connection to the Internet in the comfort of the hotel guest's own room and in hotel meeting rooms and business centres, allowing guests to send and receive e-mail and browse the web.

"The inter-touch Ethernet server provides dedicated high-speed access to the Internet," said Steve Bittinger, Chief Technology Officer for inter-touch. "It does not require a setup disk therefore it is very easy for guests to start up. Just plug the cable into your laptop and surf away."

Benefits For Business Travellers

inter-touch's Ethernet server connection increases productivity for guests by providing high-speed and unlimited access to the Internet. The guest does not need to use a telephone line to dial out, reconfigure network settings or install additional software. Additionally, hotel guests do not need to have an Internet account with an ISP. Users can move between networks, for example, office and home or office and hotel, without changing network settings.

Most business travellers have Ethernet network interface cards (NICs) in their portable computers, but for those who don't, inter-touch will provide additional NIC cards for loan or sale to guests. The guest need only plug the cable in their room into their Ethernet card and launch their Web browser or e-mail provider.

In addition, inter-touch Work-Link provides a whole suite of value added services such as inter-touch OfficeTM which allows the guest to send and receive faxes, print documents, and retrieve voice mail messages from the comfort of their room.

Aside from resident guests, meeting attendees that use conference facilities at the hotel can also enjoy inter-touch TeamworkTM which offers Internet access in all meeting rooms and conference rooms. Using inter-touch Teamwork, a meeting coordinator can set up a web-enabled boardroom with a pre-configured seven to 14 user boardroom kit in a matter of minutes. This facility allows guests to convene on-line meetings, exchange data, web training and a host of other web applications including video conferencing.

Benefits For The Hotel

inter-touch provides 'future proof' technology infrastructure for the hotel that may be used for internal IT systems and current and future guest technology needs as well as the inter-touch services. Once cabling is installed within the hotel, the hotel may use the cables for other value-added services in the future such as videoconferencing and video-on-demand. inter-touch's Ethernet server integrates with a variety of property management systems, including Fidelio, Maxial NT/Pick/Hyatt, and Eltrax/Sulcus, ensuring easy control for the hotel and seamless billing for the guest.

Technical Specifications

- The typical inter-touch hotel configuration is based on a standard Cisco switching network infrastructure, with Cisco switches located as required on each floor.
- inter-touch delivers its capabilities on a Red Hat Linux server.
- The inter-touch Ethernet server connection supports Windows 3.1, 95, 98, and NT, Mac OS, Unix, Solaris and Linux.
- inter-touch Ethernet server automatically redirects SMTP outgoing email to ensure users can send mail even when their own mail server may not be reachable over the Internet.

inter-touch is a multinational company, founded in Sydney, Australia, that partners with the hospitality, airline, convention and property industries to provide emerging communications technologies to business travellers. inter-touch communications infrastructure spans all areas in a property where broadband and Internet access may be required, including guestrooms, conference centres and business lounges. For further information, visit Error! Bookmark not defined.