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Stumberg Talks Wi-Fi At AZ ARVC Meeting

May 7, 2015 by · Comments Off on Stumberg Talks Wi-Fi At AZ ARVC Meeting 

Eric Stumberg

Eric Stumberg

Consumers increasingly expect Wi-Fi service at RV resorts and campgrounds to be comparable to the service they have at home. And when they don’t get the level of service they expect, they often voice their dissatisfaction online rather than giving operators the chance to address the problem.

That was the message TengoInternet’s Eric Stumberg gave to Arizona park operators at the Arizona Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds’ (AZ ARVC) meeting in El Mirage at the end of April.

“What we’re seeing right now is they don’t call, they go to TripAdvisor. And the result of that can have negative, long-term effects on a brand and business,” said Stumberg, founder & CEO of Austin, Texas-based TengoInternet.

Arizona ARVC's new logo

Arizona ARVC’s new logo

Stumberg talked about the challenges operators face with Wi-Fi service in a series of roundtable discussions last week during the Arizona Outdoor Hospitality Conference & Expo, sponsored by the AZ ARVC. About 40 operators, vendors and industry leaders attended the meeting and roundtable discussions at Pueblo El Mirage RV Resort, according to an announcement.

Stumberg, whose company has provided Wi-Fi service to more than 1,000 RV resort, campground and lodging operators across the U.S. and Canada for the past 13 years, said there is currently no industry standard for Wi-Fi. As a result, he said, operators provide widely varying levels of Wi-Fi service to their guests, often with drastically different results.

Stumberg described Wi-Fi service as a three-legged stool. He said all three legs are critical to a positive guest Wi-Fi experience.

The first leg is the Internet Service Provider (ISP). This refers to companies such as Verizon and Time Warner Cable, which deliver internet access through telephone, cable or fiber-optic lines. More bandwidth means a better guest Wi-Fi experience. But the ISP isn’t the only factor, Stumberg reminded attendees.

The second leg of the stool, Stumberg said, is the Wi-Fi equipment, or network. A high-quality network should deliver strong and uninterrupted Wi-Fi signals to guests despite trees or signal interference resulting from other electronic devices or nearby businesses and infrastructure.

The third essential leg is service, including guest support; technical troubleshooting and resolution; and usage monitoring and reporting. This is particularly important as guests turn to online campground and travel review forums to vent their Wi-Fi frustrations.

Stumberg encouraged operators to provide guests with clear instructions at check- in so they know not only what level of Wi-Fi service they can expect, but what to do in the event of a problem.

“You have to build accurate expectations of what Wi-Fi service looks like at your property,” he said. He added that operators must take responsibility for ensuring their Wi-Fi service meets guests’ expectations because it directly affects reputation and overall business results.

“The Wi-Fi service you offer is a reflection of you and your brand, and it has a very clear impact on your overall business,” Stumberg said.

 

TengoInternet, Ky. Parks Expand Relationship

September 25, 2013 by · Comments Off on TengoInternet, Ky. Parks Expand Relationship 

Wifi provider TengoInternet today (Sept. 25) announced an expansion of its two-year relationship with Kentucky State Parks. According to a press release, leading-edge WiFi networks were recently installed in two state park resorts with an additional four parks planned for installation in the coming months. These deployments follow 12 park installations over the past two years.

“The Kentucky State Park system is marveled as one of the premier systems in the U.S.,” said TengoInternet CEO Eric Stumberg. “Their beauty, versatility and amenities provide a wonderful experience for its visitors. Now they will enjoy additional Internet connectivity to add their enjoyment at the parks. KSP continues to invest in their guest experience and the economic sustainability of our WiFi offering makes a great return on investment.”

In 2011, the Kentucky Department of Parks, through a state-managed bid process, selected TengoInternet to provide WiFi services in one of the largest state park deployments that year. Under that agreement, TengoInternet provided turnkey network design, equipment procurement, network installation, network commissioning services and comprehensive managed network and guest services.

Just recently, networks were installed in Lake Barkley State Park Resort Lodge and Conference Center and General Butler Resort State Park Main Lodge and Conference Center. Networks at the following state resort parks will be installed in the coming months: Cumberland Falls, Kentucky Dam Village, Natural Bridge and Pennyrile Forest.

Stumberg on Mercy Mission to Guatemala City

July 22, 2013 by · Comments Off on Stumberg on Mercy Mission to Guatemala City 

Eric Stumberg (right) visits with new friends in Guatemala.

Most campground operators know Eric Stumberg as the founder and CEO of TengoInternet, the Austin, Texas-based company that provides wireless Internet service to campgrounds, RV parks and resorts across the country.

What most park operators don’t know, however, is that Stumberg frequently volunteers on international humanitarian missions. In 2005, he joined a medical and church planning mission to Uganda. In 2008, he joined a group of volunteers who built a school and community center near the site of the Old Silk Road in Pakistan, according to a news release.

And last month, Stumberg and his wife, Keri, joined nearly 50 volunteers from Christ Church in Austin who partnered with volunteers from Potters House in Guatemala who are involved in several humanitarian projects to help the impoverished people who live in and around the Guatemala City dump.

Thousands of Guatemalan children and adults scavenge the dump every day for scraps of food as well as recyclable materials and other items they can sell with the hope of surviving another day.

For the past 25 years, a Christian nonprofit organization called Potters House has recruited volunteers to provide people who live in and near the dump with free healthcare and education services and other humanitarian assistance.

And earlier this summer, 50 volunteers from Christ Church in Austin traveled to Guatemala City to join other Potters Volunteers in making a difference in the lives of people who have nothing.

“It was an incredible experience,” said Stumberg. “From a distance, you look over the dump and you see all this trash and amid all this trash is people scavenging. After we arrived there, we saw that that the Guatemala City Dump is a place with an amazing amount of brokenness. But there’s also an amazing amount of hope and it’s all in the same spot.”

Stumberg said the Christ Church volunteers paid for their own flights and food to make the trip. They also made donations to Potters House, which provided them with seminary dorms to sleep in.

While in Guatemala City, the Christ Church volunteers completed projects that had been started by other groups of volunteers who came before them. “We finished a cinder block house the team the week before had started,” Stumberg said. “We poured a concrete floor and put the windows and doors in. We also sandpapered and spackled walls. We also made and assembled bunk beds and delivered and installed them in people’s homes. We felt like we were able to have an impact because we were able to help them finish some projects that they had underway there.”

Stumberg during a lighter moment in Guatemala

Stumberg said the volunteers also prayed with the people they interacted with. “Every time we were working on a project we always had an interpreter with us so we could always interact with the people we were helping,” he said.

Stumberg said a highlight for him was celebrating Father’s Day with the men who live in an near the Guatemala City Dump. “We had a dinner for over 80 men who live there. We also had a guest speaker, who encouraged them to be excellent husbands and fathers.”

More information about Potters House and its humanitarian efforts in Guatemala, please visit its website at www.thepottershourse.org. More information about Christ Church in Austin is available at www.christchurch-austin.org.

 

 

Camping in the Cloud: Managing Wi-Fi’s Woes

July 17, 2013 by · Comments Off on Camping in the Cloud: Managing Wi-Fi’s Woes 

Wi-Fi, however it is provided, is a campground must in today’s camping culture.

Editor’s Note: The following story by Kristopher Bunker appears in the July issue of Woodall’s Campground Management.

As wireless technology continues to evolve, the way people camp is changing as well. Rather than pulling out the old campground directory and guidebooks, many have now turned to the Internet for online booking for campsite reservations, trip planning and traffic/weather conditions, not to mention music, movies and overall entertainment. This newfound reliance on the Internet has actually been years in the making, but it does present an interesting dilemma for campground owners; namely, as the demand on campground Wi-Fi gets heavier every day, what steps can be taken to ensure a pleasant experience for their guests?

Beginning on the booking side, some online registration companies have been met with some resistance at first. “I hear all the time, ‘We don’t offer Internet reservations because we offer top-of-the-top customer service, and we have to talk to them to give them that service,’” says Peter Kearns, vice president and owner of Niagara Falls, Ontario-based Mission Management Information Systems Inc. (MMI) “I tell them, ‘What you want has nothing to do with it. It’s what they want. And what they want is to book between 7:30 p.m. and 3:30 a.m. And your park office isn’t open then.’” Websites such as MMI’s www.bookyoursite have recently seen increased traffic as more and more campground owners are listening to their customers. “The online demand has always been there for the public, but the parks really are just now catching up to it,” says Kearns.

But once somebody has booked their site and fulfilled their stay, what then? If they plan to continue their RVing/camping adventures elsewhere, chances are they’ll head back online to reserve a site at a different location. And that’s where the importance of a reliable Wi-Fi connection at the campground comes in. “When people launch their browser at a campsite, they just want to connect to the Internet and stay connected. If they can’t do that easily, they won’t,” says Eric Stumberg, president/CEO of Austin, Texas-based TengoInternet.

In order to facilitate that ease of use – not only for online booking but especially for more involved, larger tasks like uploading and downloading files – campground owners need to not only offer Wi-Fi at their sites, but to ensure that it’s also readily available and maintained properly. And that begins with making sure the Internet signal coming into the park is strong enough to handle the demand. “The first building block in any Wi-Fi system is the bandwidth coming in,” says Jim Ganley, managing partner at Gray, Maine-based Check Box Systems. And that can cost campground owners more money than they may be prepared to spend. “When you look at the cost of providing reliable Wi-Fi, it’s not cheap,” says Ganley. “But comparing it to other amenities, like swimming pools and athletic facilities, it’s much less expensive, and much higher on the wish list for your guests. Far more guests want Wi-Fi than want to swim laps in the pool.”

Camping purists may consider the demand for Wi-Fi a ridiculous one; you’re supposed to be spending time in the great outdoors, under clear skies, with no electronics whatsoever. But like the demand for pools, clubhouses and even golf courses, the public’s cry for staying connected has necessitated for Internet systems that can handle hundreds – if not thousands – of users in any given 24-hour period.

Others in the industry concur. “The majority of campground owners are now realizing that Wi-Fi is the number one demanded amenity,” says Jim Ames, CEO of Napa, Calif.-based Airwave Adventurers. “If you don’t have reliable Wi-Fi, most likely they’re going to go someplace else.”

Consider bandwidth (the No. 1 requirement for solid Wi-Fi) as a sprinkler system; you have a main water line that you tap into, and the more sprinkler heads you place throughout the yard, the less the pressure is going to be. That’s why all the Wi-Fi management systems that Woodall’s Campground Management (WCM) spoke to recommend getting the maximum bandwidth possible for each location, which is sometimes a rather difficult proposition. “That largely depends upon where in the country you are,” says Ganley. “If you’re in an area fortunate enough to have robust fiber or cable Internet, you can build a very fast system for your guests. But if you’re in an area with slower DSL or satellite connections, there are more hoops to jump through.”

Both geographical and monetary considerations must be taken into account when planning a park’s Internet/Wi-Fi system. In doing so, there has to be a certain amount of “give” one way or the other. “If I’m talking to a customer, the question now is ‘What is the guest experience you want to provide?’” says Stumberg. ‘Do you want a service where everybody can send e-mails and trip plan and do a few big things, or do you want to provide a service where people can Skype and download movies and be online?’”

If owners opt for the latter, they should be prepared for heavy demand; the growing reliance on Internet applications for entertainment has proven to be the biggest Wi-Fi “hog” of all, and could potentially lead to other campers leaving with a bad taste in their mouths. “The biggest challenge we face today is video. If you’re watching a two-hour Netflix HD stream, that’s the equivalent usage rate of sending about 4 million e-mails in two hours,” says Ganley. Such high bandwidth usage rate by one camper means that another may not even be able to log on to retrieve his e-mails.

In addition, the boom of mobile devices, from iPhones to tablets to connected MP3 players, has led to another challenge. “Our biggest theme last year was upgrading all our radios to the newest ones so they can better handle sensitivity for iPads, iPhones and smaller devices,” says Ames. “The greatest challenge was to be able to handle those (smaller devices) because they have such small transmitters in them.”

So, who is to blame? The campground owners or the users? Basically neither, says Ames, who has a bit of a different take.

“The ISPs (Internet service providers) are not keeping up fast enough with technology. The tech is there. We have fiber-optic technology that’s been around for quite a while.”

One thing all the providers agree upon is the importance of the relationship between the campground owners and the Wi-Fi managers. “It’s really critical for us that we are in partnership with our customers so that we’re meeting the expectations,” says Stumberg. That way, we can really set them right up front, given whatever circumstances they face locally.”

Campground Manager

Campground Manager, which is MMIS’ top product, allows users to book their campsites online in conjunction with the vertically integrated www.bookyoursite.com, without the need to contact the campground directly. This allows them to book on their own time frame, rather than waiting on hold during their own work hours. Kearns says that 73% of RVers book during off hours, and that the campgrounds still have the opportunity through his program to approve of the reservations. “Using Campground Manager, we take their information, and then take the park’s site out of inventory. But someone (from the park) still has to touch those reservations first thing in the morning during business hours.” A Book Your Site app is now available for the iPhone and iPad and is “The only app in America where you can book a reservation from your phone,” says Kearns.

Check Box Systems

“Check Box Systems software allows properties to control who gets on their network, how much time they spend on the network and how much data they consume,” says Ganley. Once a customer associates his/her wireless device with a signal, a property welcome page greets users with general links to various property-selected sites. Users can then dive into the “real” Internet after they have entered a ticket number or password. Some properties allow a “free access” button, which allows free reign of the web for a limited time, while some properties call for a credit-card module to charge for usage. Check Box Systems monitor users’ activity to make sure they aren’t using inordinate amounts of data. For more information visit www.checkboxsystems.net.

TengoInternet

TengoInternet is the largest high-speed Internet provider and hot-spot installer in the industry. TengoInternet designs, installs, operates and supports wired and wireless networks for outdoor hospitality venues. “We provide a guaranteed solution for the customer,” says Stumberg. “We’re spending a lot more time now helping customers identify better, faster Internet.” Stumberg points out that TengoInternet has addressed the recent mobile-device boom by “mobilizing the network,” to increase the range and effectiveness of his products. “We are constantly striving to determine more reliable systems and better ways of staying connected.” For more information visit www.tengointernet.com.

Airwave Adventurers

Airwave bills itself as a one-stop business for campground owners to install Wi-Fi into their campgrounds. Airwave sells the equipment, designs the system and maintains manages the program should users wish to continue that route. “We also have a program to manage the system, do all credit-card transactions and take care of technical-support needs,” says Ames. “With our Deluxe Package, we handle everything; we even find out who the local (provider) is and take care of the billing there as well. We’re the only ones who do that for our customers.” For more information visit www.airwaveadventurers.com.

 

TengoInternet Lands West Texas Wi-Fi Deals

June 13, 2013 by · Comments Off on TengoInternet Lands West Texas Wi-Fi Deals 

A springtime photo take at the Custom Touch Village in Snyder, Texas, one of 12 workforce housing projects in the Cline Shale region in west Texas where TengoInternet will install Wi-Fi service.

TengoInternet, the oldest and largest wireless Internet provider for the outdoor hospitality industry, announced today (June 13) that it is providing high-speed, wireless Internet capability for 12 workforce housing projects in the Cline Shale in West Texas.

The developments are a joint venture of South Dakota-based Custom Touch Homes, Larson Ventures and Turn Key Solutions, according to a news release.

“We are excited to provide the infrastructure for high-speed Internet in these important workforce housing developments,” said Eric Stumberg, CEO and co-founder of TengoInternet. “Workers in this booming region can now enjoy top-quality Wi-Fi to do such things as communicate with their families over e-mail and Skype, watch live-stream video content and play online games. We bring powerful wireless Internet to remote regions around North America to enable a connected experience.”

The Snyder location, known as Custom Touch Village, is holding a grand opening event at 6pm today while groundbreaking at the Sweetwater location occurred on Wednesday. Snyder is located about 230 miles west of Ft. Worth. Custom Touch Village will include accommodations for up to 1,000 workers living in lodges, mobile homes and RVs.

“We want to provide the best living accommodations possible so the employees and their families can have the same quality of life as they have at their homes,” said Dave Ferguson, CEO for Turn Key Solutions, the site’s project management firm. “Providing a top-notch internet experience is part of that excellence and we are pleased to partner with TengoInternet to provide the very best for Custom Touch Village inhabitants.”

In addition to professional network design and installation, TengoInternet will provide Custom Touch and Turnkey Solutions with a branded guest authentication and online network management system, bandwidth management, complete staff training, marketing support, liability management, and 24/7 guest support including a VIP line for the staff at each facility.

The remaining 11 Cline Shale workforce developments are expected to be completed within 18 to 24 months.

 

 

Park Operators Brace for Increasing Wi-Fi Cost

May 7, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Eric Stumberg, TengoInternet

Bruce Bridgewater, Coba Systems

Editor’s Note: The following news release was provided by the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO) and pertains to a presentation made during TACO’s recent spring meeting. PowerPoint presentations from speakers making presentations at TACO’s Spring Meeting will be posted this week on www.Tacomembers.com.

Park operators are increasingly being contacted by cable companies that are seeking to step up their collection of fees for providing wireless Internet service.

“Based on their public comments and some private actions, cable companies want to have the same kind of revenue model for Wi-Fi service that they have with cable TV,” said Eric Stumberg, president and CEO of Austin, Texas-based TengoInternet, the nation’s largest provider of Wi-Fi products and services for private park operators.

That increasingly means cable companies are seeking to enforce the terms of service of their Internet agreement with park operators, which may prevent park operators from operating private Wi-Fi networks and offering cable Wi-Fi service or increase the cost of their service.

Some park operators are using residential rather than commercial Wi-Fi accounts to provide Wi-Fi service to their guests. Others may have commercial Wi-Fi accounts, but do not have agreements in place that allow them to redistribute their Wi-Fi signal to their guests.

“Park operators need to make sure that the terms of service agreements they have with cable companies allow them to do what they are doing with their Wi-Fi signal,” Stumberg said. He added that cable companies are stepping up their enforcement of “terms of service” agreements as they seek to generate more revenue from their Wi-Fi services.

TengoInternet ensures that its customers’ contracts with cable companies are appropriate for the type of Wi-Fi service they provide for their guests. But even with these contracts in place, Stumberg anticipates cable companies to be seeking higher fees for the Wi-Fi service they provide during the coming year.

Stumberg talked about Wi-Fi during a presentation to park operators attending the Spring Meeting of the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO). He was joined in his presentation by Bruce Bridgewater of Coba Systems, a McAllen, Texas-based provider of cable television and Wi-Fi services for RV parks and campgrounds.

While the potential for increased Wi-Fi service costs was a key area of focus in their presentation, Stumberg and Bridgewater also talked about rising consumer use of Wi-Fi dependent devices and the need for private parks to increase the capacity of their Internet line strength for their Wi-Fi signals.

Stumberg noted that there has been a 25% increase in the number of devices using Wi-Fi networks, primarily in mobile devices, during the past year. In addition, TengoInternet also documented a 42% increase in Wi-Fi data consumption from 2011 to 2012.

These rising Wi-Fi demands pose significant challenges for park operators.

Bridgewater noted that 20 guests making a Skype or VOIP phone call can potentially consume a park’s entire Wi-Fi signal. That’s not even counting the growing number of Wi-Fi dependent devices that guests are likely to have with them, which could include computers, tables, smartphones, X-boxes, printers, televisions, cameras and kindles.

Stumberg also noted that many guests are immediately reporting problems they have with Wi-Fi service on RV park review websites rather than reporting the problems immediately to the RV parks or their Wi-Fi service providers so that they can take corrective actions.

Based in Crowley, TACO represents nearly 400 private campgrounds and RV resorts in Texas. The association was established in 1972 by a group of five campground owners who felt there should be independent marketing and advocacy for the private park industry in Texas. In addition to its legislative advocacy, TACO publishes the RV Travel & Camping Guide to Texas, a significant consumer magazine with a distribution of 250,000, and it hosts www.TexasCampgrounds.com, the most widely used website for RV parks and campgrounds in Texas. The association also promotes Texas campgrounds in over 25 RV shows in the U.S. and Canada.

 

‘6 Strikes’ Enforcement Hits RV Parks

March 22, 2013 by · 3 Comments 

Eric Stumberg

Enforcement of the “six strikes” aspect of the Copyright Alert System (CAS) has landed a Texas RV park in trouble with its cable and Internet service provider.

Brian Schaeffer

Officials with the Texas Association of Campground Owners (TACO) and TengoInternet, the firm that installed the Wi-Fi service at the Oakwood RV Resort in Fredericksburg, have come forward to help the 132-site Good Sam Park through its brush with its service provider, Time-Warner Cable (TWC), which informed the owner earlier this month that it will punish the RV park for not buying bulk rate Internet from TWC.

“Our TACO attorney has already been involved in a case on this and we are probably going to get a lot more action,” Brian Schaeffer, TACO president and CEO told Woodall’s Campground Management. “This story is far more impacting than it reads. For example, parks have bought a ‘commercial’ service for their parks thinking that covers them regarding Wi-Fi in their parks. But the fine print says they cannot distribute Internet in their parks. Almost every park in the USA has or will have this problem.”

The CAS is a private system for alerting and punishing Internet subscribing customers of AT&T, Cablevision, Time Warner, Verizon and Comcast. It monitors use via home networks that access alleged copyrighted material from a list of specific entertainment corporations and their CAS registered content. The consortium that manages the program has branded it as the six strikes program.

The system is intended to be a graduated response wherein participating Internet service providers (ISPs) send up to six electronic warnings notifying subscribers of alleged copyright infringement, as reported by a monitoring service working on behalf of participating copyright owners.

If copyright infringement is reported after a final warning, the ISPs have agreed to implement “mitigation measures,” which can include penalties such as bandwidth throttling.

Fallout from the anti-piracy program could shut down some business broadband accounts, including public Wi-Fi hotspots that are not authorized to share their bandwidth, but have nonetheless been getting away with it.

For RV parks, this can occur if the park operator maintains its Wi-Fi service on a “residential” account rather than a “business” account or the terms of service for the Internet did not include sharing, explained Eric Stumberg, president of TengoInternet. Some park owners opted for the cheaper residential account to reduce overhead expenses and have skated through detection.

Stumberg said he has heard of various violations in recent years, but the penalty has been lenient.

Now, the providers are clamping down on enforcement.

“I don’t think the sky is falling, but I do think it is a very good opportunity to review what is prudent business practice for anyone operating a shared network for their guests,” Stumberg said.

Key Points for Park Owners

The key points for park owners are to review whether they operate on a residential or business account, review their terms of service and ensure they can comply/prevent guests from downloading illegal content.

In an analogy, Stumberg likened sharing and six strikes enforcement to a person renting a car. Even though there may be several passengers in the car, only one person is authorized to drive it unless you have permission from the rental company. When terms of the agreement are violated, such as allowing unauthorized drivers, or in the case of driver behavior – speeding or drunk driving – the person no longer has the right to drive that car. Likewise, the traffic violation goes on the driver’s record, just like being caught illegally downloading movies goes on a Wi-Fi user’s record.

Once alerted by the service provider of a violation, TengoInternet is able go back in history on that given date, find out who illegally downloaded the movie and quarantine that guest from using the service again.

Jim Ganley

“We have not seen this issue yet at any of the 3,500 properties that we serve,” Jim Ganley, managing partner of CheckBox Systems, Gray, Maine, told WCM. “I am not sure if this is an isolated incident, or a coming trend, and I am not sure if it is tied to the six strikes law as much as it is the service provider’s desire to either upsell properties or push users to a wireless plan.”

The latter concerns Stumberg who wonders if the stricter enforcement of the six strikes policy is mere “saber rattling” to scare customers into buying bulk rate Internet service from the cable provider for their campgrounds.

TACO’s Schaeffer was more adamant.

He envisions “the cable company is asking parks to install boxes on every TV in every RV that enters their parks. ARE YOU KIDDING ME! When the RV drives out with these devices still on board, then the park has to buy more devices or charge the RV owners for them. I thought this might be strictly a TV provider issue but now it’s coming together as to what it really is.

“This could get really ugly really fast and it isn’t about piracy. It’s about greed and wanting every citizen to pay for every ounce of Internet and TV they use – even in RV parks.”

 

TengoInternet: Bandwidth Crunch Irks Parks

February 11, 2013 by · 6 Comments 

Eric Stumberg

Staying ahead of the technology curve is the lifeblood of Texas-based TengoInternet, the oldest and largest wireless Internet provider for the outdoor hospitality industry. President and CEO Eric Stumberg talked with Woodall’s Campground Management writer Barb Riley about what’s coming up for TengoInternet and the industry in 2013.

The most pressing conundrum for campgrounds providing guests with Wi-Fi service will continue to be bandwidth crunch, according to Stumberg. “There are tons more and new types of devices on every network,” he explained. “Outside of improving networks to support volume, devices are smaller with lower-power antennae, so we have to bring the signal source closer to the guests.”

Another burden on bandwidth is how guests are using Wi-Fi. “What we’re seeing now is a huge shift to Internet-based entertainment – Netflix, Hulu, ESPN. Everything is video, which really taxes networks,” Stumberg said. “Then you have Canadian customers who get around international phone tolls by using Skype and FaceTime. All those applications are data-intensive.”

Stumberg said that’s more problematic now that people expect Wi-Fi to be as plentiful as it is at home. “After the network’s built, it’s like a utility; we just need to turn up the water. The problem is, we need more water.” Fortunately, providers like AT&T are finally ramping up efforts to increase the pipeline of available bandwidth; but, he said, “that will be an ongoing thing.”

TengoInternet itself has several items on the agenda for this year. One will address what Stumberg says is one of the biggest drivers of Wi-Fi equipment: clean power. “In a brown-out, a power strip may put itself to sleep to save itself,” he said. “Our new power strips have IP addresses, so if there’s any power to them and they can connect to the Internet, we can remotely reboot them.”

Another service TengoInternet will offer is traveler review monitoring. They’ve found negative campground reviews posted on a site like Trip Advisor by a guest who had Wi-Fi problems – but hadn’t asked for assistance. Now, TengoInternet will watch for such reviews and take care of the problem directly. Stumberg said, “We’re not waiting for someone to call in. We’ll monitor and manage these situations.”

Next is a virtual network design tool that uses Google Earth to build the plan around a campground’s specific layout. “We can co-develop it with you, or give us a site map and we can do our magic behind the curtain,” Stumberg said. “And when you build a network, it’s yours. If you want to pick up our services after that, fantastic, but otherwise, it’s yours and you can use it.”

Add a website revamp coming this spring and a new wireless device that’s “a little better, a little cheaper, and it looks nicer too,” and you’ve got what TengoInternet has in the queue for this year – all on its bedrock foundation of customer service.

“The fact is, it’s challenging to provide great service right now, but I love it because I think we can provide a lot more value to our customers than ever before,” Stumberg related. “Most of our customers just want their guests to have a great experience, and I can help them do that. That’s good for us, good for the customer, good for their guests.”

TengoInternet

Location: 106 E. 6th St. Suite 900, Austin, Texas 78701

Phone: (512) 322-3959

Website: www.tengointernet.com

 

TengoInternet Lands Major Wi-Fi Contract

October 9, 2012 by · Comments Off on TengoInternet Lands Major Wi-Fi Contract 

TengoInternet, the oldest and largest wireless Internet provider for the outdoor hospitality industry, today (Oct. 9) announced that Killam Properties Inc. selected TengoInternet to provide wireless networks at their Leisure Living communities.

The first community trial network at Holiday Harbour was deployed in September, according to a news release.

In addition to professional network design and installation, TengoInternet will provide Killam Properties with a branded guest authentication and online network management system, bandwidth management, complete staff training, marketing support, liability management and 24/7 guest support including a VIP line for resort staff.

With more than 1,000 wireless networks installed across 48 states, Canada and Mexico, TengoInternet remains the industry’s largest provider with the experience necessary to install and manage commercial grade wireless networks for RV resorts.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with TengoInternet,” said Peter Majewsky, director of seasonal resorts for Killam Properties Inc. “We selected Tengo through a rigorous and lengthy selection process – they were professional, well established and responded quickly and honestly to our queries about service capabilities, costs and expectations of service quality for our guests. Everyone said ‘sure we can do that’ but we also wanted to be aware of potential problems in advance; in other words, ‘under promise and over deliver’ to us, and that is what Tengo has done.”

“Killam is investing in a great guest experience” said Eric Stumberg, CEO and co-founder, TengoInternet. “Our industry leadership, strong service portfolio and dedicated staff are dedicated to successfully meet Killam’s specific network, guest and business requirements. We look forward to helping Killam to grow its business and better serve their guests while growing our presence in Canada.”

About Killam

Killam Properties Inc., based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is one of Canada’s largest residential landlords, owning and operating multi-family apartments, manufactured home communities (MHCs) and seasonal resorts. Killam’s 150 apartment properties are located in Atlantic Canada’s six major urban centers and in Ontario. The company’s 44 manufactured home communities, or land lease communities, are in Atlantic Canada and Ontario.

From its first property acquisition in 2002, management has grown the company by consolidating the Canadian rental market. In 2010 Killam began a development program focused on the construction of high-quality apartments in its core markets. Killam currently owns and operates 19,035 units in 194 properties, representing real estate assets of approximately $1.2 billion. Killam is focused on growing its portfolio, maximizing the value of its properties and increasing earnings and cash flow per share. Killam Properties is a public company trading on the TSX under the ticker KMP.

 

 

TengoInternet Again Lands on Inc. 5000 List

September 11, 2012 by · Comments Off on TengoInternet Again Lands on Inc. 5000 List 

Inc. Magazine has ranked TengoInternet on its sixth annual Inc. 5000 List, an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fast-growing private companies. TengoInternet, the the oldest and largest wireless Internet provider for the outdoor hospitality industry, ranked 3,246 on the list, based on revenue growth from 2008 to 2012, according to a news release.

“We are honored to be recognized for the fourth time among the nation’s elite private companies” said Eric Stumberg, CEO and co-founder of TengoInternet. “TengoInternet’s growth is directly attributed to our talented team, serving our awesome customers well. We look forward to continuing to help customers, old and new, achieve business success.”

“Now, more than ever, we depend on Inc. 500/5000 companies to spur innovation, provide jobs, and drive the economy forward.  Growth companies, not large corporations, are where the action is,” said Inc. Editor Eric Schurenberg.

TengoInternet is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and currently manages high speed wired and wireless networks for more than 900 RV resorts, campgrounds, hotels, crew camps and marinas in 49 states, Canada and Mexico.

For more information call (512) 469-7660.

 

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