Block Island Beach House Selects Sigmawifi for design, implementation, and support of state-of-the-art wireless solution for hotels

About the Block Island Beach House

Block Island Beach House is centered around the iconic Surf Hotel, where you will find fresh, bright, and vintage-inspired beachfront rooms with private baths and modern amenities, plus direct access to the surf and sand. A lively beach bar and relaxed lounge offer good coffee, signature cocktails, and delicious bites all day. At night, drinks and music are available on the expansive waterfront deck. Block Island Beach House is a spirited but laid- back destination for discovering the island’s low-key charm. Block Island Beach House is the spot for a memorable night, perfect weekend, or an unforgettable week-long getaway — a place for escaping, celebrating, and making lifelong memories.

Overview
Nine miles off the Eastern coast of Rhode Island on the Atlantic Ocean lies beautiful Block Island – a summertime paradise. Despite the beautiful beaches and small-town charm, the island’s proximity to the mainland means that it lacks some of modern life’s conveniences, such as high- speed internet. So, when Lark Hotels acquired the former Surf Hotel and planned a massive renovation and relaunch of its Block Island Beach House, they were faced with an interesting problem: how to acquire fast and reliable internet for the property? The service was required to offer the level of amenities that Lark guests had come to expect, so this was non-negotiable and necessary. They sought a solution from multiple vendors but were told over and over again that it was simply impossible and they would have to settle for available options which were expensive, slow and unscalable (T1 1.54Mbps, DSL 3 Mbps, Cellular 6 Mbps, or Satellite 15 Mbps). Knowing there had to be a better way and that the company loves to take on challenges, they looked to Sigmawifi for a solution to match their specific needs.

 

Challenges
With an island so far off the mainland and no high-speed internet capability currently available, Lark Hotels needed to find a partner who would find a creative way to provide their new Block Island Beach House staff and guests with a better internet connection for their challenging environment. In fact, high-speed Internet service was so challenging that the island’s businesses and residents had all failed to find a high-speed solution needed to keep up with modern amenities.

 

Approach
Sigmawifi enthusiastically offered to tackle the problem: they envisioned a point-to-point system that would beam high-speed wireless service from the mainland directly to the Block Island Beach House. For such a system to work, there were many logistical and technical issues they faced, from finding a location on the mainland that met all the base station requirements – in line of sight, at the correct height, and willing to partner for the service – to designing the hotel system on the other end to receive the signal. This was a complex puzzle and it seemed that every step of the way there were additional roadblocks and challenges faced.

 

Solution
Ultimately Sigmawifi found a great partner on the mainland to provide facilities to beam a high-speed wireless signal to the hotel. Using a combination of techniques they’ve employed with other installations, they were able to create a system to conquer the nine-mile void between the mainland and the island and beam a signal directly to the hotel.

 

Results
Imagine your internet speed 67x faster than it is now. Or even 667x faster. That is the power of Sigmawifi. Where others had written the island off as “impossible to service”, Sigmawifi got an effective system up and running with a smile. The new wireless system that was put in place has been able to deliver speeds of 1 Gbps to the new Block Island Beach House – an idea that not long ago seemed impossible. The hotel was able to expand its guest amenities to offer services it only dreamed of – similar to what other locations have. In fact, the new wireless system working so well that plans are progressing to expand wireless internet offerings to neighboring businesses. By bringing together businesses from across the water and designing a system to solve a problem that no one else could, Sigmawifi successfully delivered high-speed internet to Block Island and has other properties clambering to get on-board with the service.

 

“We don’t like to hear that our vision is impossible, so we seek out partners that work with us to make the impossible possible. Sigmawifi tackled a problem that no one else – in the history of Block Island – had been able to tackle. They are true professionals and problem solvers.”

– Rob Blood,
CEO, Lark Hotels, Owner of Block Island Beach House

 

Click to download the entire Lark Case Study PDF.

Block Island Beach House Location: 

  • 32 Dodge St., New Shoreham, RI 02807