We’ve all been there; you’re travelling abroad, you’ve had a busy day, and all you want to do is relax in front of the TV series you’re currently binging on Netflix – or maybe catch your favourite sports team’s big game? After all, you paid for the subscription. You turn on your device, log into your account, and then ‘Not available in your country’ Access denied.

Frustrating, isn’t it? But from 1 April 2018, the EU’s Cross-Border Portability of Online Content policy comes into effect. This new regulation enables you to access your subscribed content services anywhere in EU, just as you would access them at home.

Provided that your content subscription originates from an EU country, when you travel within the European Union, you will now be able to enjoy:

  • Video streaming, e.g. Netflix, HBO and Amazon Prime, with access to the same content you get at home
  • Access to your local subscribed e-book, music and gaming content
  • Subscriptions you have for premium sport channels

All content service providers within the EU who offer paid online content will have to follow the new rules.

Online content subscriptions are increasing year after year. The cross-border portability policy will have even wider impact on the usage of online services.

Nowadays it’s almost impossible to provide content tailored to every guest that visits your hotel. The breadth of online media is so vast that preferences have become very unique to each person, both in terms of the kind of sports that matter to your guest, their favourite series or film genre and maybe most vital (and most difficult to cater to); their language requirements.

How this will affect you as hotelier

Q: Does your guest Wi-Fi meet the increased demand of usage from your guests?

A: If your hotel is located in an EU member state and your international guests are also from an EU country, they will definitely try to stream online services by accessing your hotel’s wireless network during their stay. The average number of on-demand service subscriptions was 3.8 per household in 2017*. This requires you to ensure five things:

  • Provide a Wi-Fi infrastructure that ensures sufficient signal strength and quality throughout your hotel
  • The capacity to manage significantly more devices connected to your network
  • Sufficient bandwidth to your hotel
  • The ability to allocate bandwidth to all guests and their different needs
  • Monitoring tool to pro-actively manage your network, ensuring the functionality to your guests

Q: You have a TV screen in the hotel room today, but can your guest stream their own content onto it?

A: Cast to TV is a solution which allows your guest to stream from their device to the hotel TV. There will be an increased demand from your hotel guests for this feature as a direct result of the cross-border portability regulation.

Predicting the impact of this increase in usage is difficult. However, in order to ensure you are meeting the evolving needs of your guests, to build customer loyalty and receive good ratings on social media, this is business critical for you.

*According to the 2017 TV and Media report from Ericsson ConsumerLab.