Hotel Online Special Report
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Internet Access for the Road Warrior Easier Than Ever
IPORT™ Version 2.0 Released
 
San Diego — July 20, 1998 — ATCOM Inc. today announced the release of version 2.0 of the IPORT™  Internet Access System, which provides public pay-per-use Internet connectivity for laptop-toting business travelers. IPORT 2.0 improves upon previous versions’ functionality by offering a plug-and-play laptop connection, which does not require IPORT user software. Instead, the business traveler simply plugs their laptop into an IPORT jack, launches the browser and is immediately connected to the Internet at high speed. IPORT version 2.0 will address over 95% of the mobile laptop configurations and applications that are used by business travelers. 

Also included in IPORT Internet Access System version 2.0:
 

“Personalized Internet Portal” offers IPORT users advanced personalization features via Microsoft’s Site Server technology and an interface to the IPORT Connected Community Web site.
Printing from the hotel room using an IPORT connection. 
IPORT’s Meeting Manager software component allows meeting planners to manage conference ports easily from a remote location and can reduce hotel meeting costs for Internet connections by up to 60%. 
IPORT’s MDU (Multiple Dwelling Units or apartments) Web interface allows property managers to administer extended-stay properties and marks IPORT’s entry into the vertical “home networking” market.
Virtual Private Network (VPN) support for over 95% of all remote access and off-the-shelf VPN products on the market.

The IPORT system benefits Internet Service Providers (ISPs), cable companies, telephone companies and other service providers who previously had to manually configure the computer for Internet access. With IPORT 2.0, a hotel’s ISP can provide fast Internet access, Web-based interfaces for payment, a platform for metered Internet services and the remote management features found in the Windows NT and IPORT management systems.

“IPORT utilizes the advanced features of the Microsoft BackOffice platform to provide the lowest total cost of ownership and investment value for the hospitality industry,”  said Stan Julien, hospitality industry marketing manager for Microsoft Corporation.  “Betting on the Microsoft Windows NT operating system will provide the highest value over time for any system owner and the most benefit for their customers.”

The IPORT commercial trials were launched in March 1998 and currently include nearly 3,000 hotel rooms installed with the solution nationwide. Running on a Microsoft Windows NT Server and Microsoft SQL Server-based local area network at a hotel, the solution links Ethernet data ports in guest rooms and meeting rooms to the Internet over a T1 or other high-speed line, bypassing the hotel’s PBX.  The system can be operated over any network that can carry IP-based traffic such as Ethernet, Cable Modems, or xDSL.  A Web-based interface makes using IPORT an easy point-and-click process for guests, automating the connection, payment and disconnection process from start to finish.

“The IPORT system provides a familiar and seamless Internet portal for the public Internet” said Tom Caldwell, vice president of marketing at ATCOM/INFO.  “It will be important for business travelers who need to be efficient while on the road to look for a branded Internet access system they know and trust. We have witnessed business travelers return to a hotel because the IPORT system provides them with greater productivity and efficiency while on the road. Using a dial-up modem for remote access is now part of the Stone Age!”

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Contact:
Tom Caldwell, 
ATCOM Inc.
(619) 699-4003, 
tcaldwell@atcominfo.com
Jeni Cantley, 
The Townsend Agency 
(619) 457-4888 x130,
jeni@townsendagency.com
 
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Also See:
Pinehurst Resort Country Club to begin trials of EtherLoop, a high-speed Internet access solution / June
1998 
The Westin Seattle Provides a High Speed Internet Connection in Meeting Space / July 1998 
Technology: A Guide to Lodging Internet Connectivity / HMM / Russell Shaw / June 1998 

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