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Old 23-11-2012, 06:25   #31
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Re: BTC Internet in the Bahamas

Why not just go to Ocean Reef Yacht Club on Grand Bahama, half way between Freeport and Lucaya,. Terrific hurricane hole, swimming pool with swim up bar, hot tub, tennis courts, beautiful facility with free reliable wifi, free cable TV, free water and a moderate charge for power. Your size boat should run about $400 per month. oh yeah free rum and bbq every Monday. Unfortunately the place is full of Canadians if you can put up with that.
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Old 23-11-2012, 06:34   #32
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Re: BTC Internet in the Bahamas

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Originally Posted by Katiusha View Post
Not sure if anyone else mentioned, but remoting in from the islands is pretty much a mute point unless you're going one of two most expensive Inmarsat routes (sat comm - $1000s each month).

I tried continuing work from the boat (I had to remote in as well due to security) and found it impossible except for more populated spots in US. Anywhere down Bahamas, even Nassau, or Caribbean? From my experience you'll spend half the work day just getting to your desktop. Imagine moving a mouse.

Work out another deal or cruise in areas with high-speed/4G.

Just my 0.02 cents
I guess you didn't read that I am now working from my boat, remoting into my office in Texas from the Bahamas. Pretty much any place in the Abacos you can work from the boat. It's my understanding that Nassau is good too but I'm a little worried about George Town.
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Old 23-11-2012, 07:19   #33
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Re: BTC Internet in the Bahamas

Anyone else got first hand on topic info?

Not interested in "why not" or "you should". Looking for direct, current, information on using BTC for internet access. And yes, I can google with the best of them and have a request for information in with BTC.

Thanks

George
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Old 30-05-2013, 05:57   #34
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Re: BTC Internet in the Bahamas

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Originally Posted by FranklinGray View Post
That may be true, but I already have that other stuff (the bridge and 15 DBI ommi antenna). I just can't use it here because everything is secure here and I'm also a AP using a different system for the WIFI guy in our marina which I pay $35 a month. I do need to get out and test what I have before I go though.

I read somewhere that the 9 dbi should get 6-8 miles over water. I find that hard to believe but if so, then I should at least be able to get a good signal 2 miles offshore like in Key West anchorages with my 15 dbi.
Your 9dbi, coupled to a Ubiquiti bullet, if you're geek enough to set it up yourself (previously mentioned IslandTimePC does the configuration for you, and is the absolute king of customer service, IMHO - I met Bob Stewart - on a WiFi forum - many years ago when I was trying to solve a problem with some crap a vendor had sold me; his solution didn't involve my buying from him, but when it was time to upgrade, I did, and have his computer setup as well, for the same reasons), will easily do what you want.

It's not the least bit uncommon for us to be cruising 5-7 miles offshore and connected. In Marsh Harbour, where the signal congestion is horrible, rather than connect to something local, I went to the south and north end of Scotland, and all the way up to Baker's bay, 6, 8, and 15 miles, respectively.

Once out of the harbor, throughput jumped into DSL range; inside, all the data collisions made it much slower, but entirely workable. Various locations around the Abacos had other sites I used very effectively, some to the degree that my Vonage system worked acceptably. Imagine the surprise of a family member calling the same number I've had for more than 30 years finding me in the Bahamas!

So, it can be done, but I don't know that the level of throughput would suffice, or the reliability, ditto, for the OP. For the rest of us, it's great.

However, this is topic creep, as the original had to do with BTC, on which I'll post separately...

L8R

Skip, currently off Greyfield, Cumberland Island GA
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Old 30-05-2013, 06:49   #35
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Re: BTC Internet in the Bahamas

Just a comment; ThatBoatGuy is as well informed as any about the ins-and-outs of WiFi...

However, back to the topic...

We recently met a fellow cruiser who'd just returned from the Bahamas. Like George (TBG, above), I've not found reliable data online from BTC. However, said cruiser displayed a standard cell phone which he said he'd bought from BTC for $50. It's a hotspot for the $30/mo (1G) data (from BTC's website), but ALSO works just like their other cell phones, in that you buy money's-worth time cards which expire in 30 days.

During our last visit there, now more than 2 years ago, money's-worth persisted beyond the time expiration; adding even the smallest ($5) card started the 30-day clock over again when we returned from a month away - I can't speak to the current rules.

However, it seems the best of both worlds. You have a hotspot and a phone which works just like their other phones did, in the same package. I didn't think to ask the guy, but if it only will allow one log-in, I'd have to consider closely whether we thought it was a good deal for us, as there are two computers in use aboard in typical situations. Their website also refers to using WiFi access for phone calls, to minimize costs, just as is the case here in the states, but I don't have a feel for the realities of using that for other than local calls, if that, as I only know what I saw on their site.

However, all that said, apparently there is at least one solution to Cell/WiFi access, at reasonable prices. Their website claims that even Raccoon (unoccupied) and Ragged have cell service; I know for sure, even 4 years ago, that Ragged did, because there was another cruiser there (on Raccoon) using a Zoom unlocked stick and getting a little better than dialup speeds.

So, apparently nobody so far (in this thread) knows what the reality is, but if my hearsay is correct, at least there's a not-too-costly hybrid cellular/WiFi solution including a not-too-expensive phone...

Pertinent links:

http://btc4g.com/data_plans.php

http://www.mrsimcard.com/s-batelco.html

http://www.bahamascruisersguide.com/...67/page67.html


L8R

Skip, enjoying WiFi off Cumberland Island GA
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Old 30-05-2013, 08:04   #36
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Re: BTC Internet in the Bahamas

We actually had two phones and a dedicated hotspot the last time over that were Batelco internet hotspots. In addition we had a Globalstar sat-phone that could get us internet at an extremely slow pace.

The Batelco sims in our unlocked phones provided 1gb of data for 30 days which was adequate for doing most things other than youtube videos and bit torrent stuff. We used an Ubiquity Bullet and our own router onboard for wifi when we could get it. There's a whole 'nother thread dedicated to that.

My unlocked Samsung phone still has a little time left on it and is roaming here in the States. No data though.

If you purchase a wifi hotspot make sure it uses the same frequency band that BTC uses. It must be capable of sending a text message to activate the data plan *or* the sim you purchase can be temporarily put in a phone to do that.

As with most things in the Bahamas patience is your pal. Keep in mind that you will not get the same story from any two BTC locations or even two people at the same location and a visit to the BTC office rarely (if ever) goes just the way you think it will. But hey... you're in the islands mon!

George
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Old 30-05-2013, 10:15   #37
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Re: BTC Internet in the Bahamas

Just got back. Bought a SIM card ($15) and $30 for 1GB/month from BTC. Actually the $30 plan is/was on sale for $20. Used the SIM in an 3G/4G iPad (AT&T model).

FWIW, the 1G pay-as-you-go plan is for 1G at 4G speed. When you max that out, you still have unlimited at 'E'dge speed. I didn't prove that, but was told by other cruisers this is so.

YMMV
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Old 30-05-2013, 13:31   #38
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Re: BTC Internet in the Bahamas

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Originally Posted by DotDun View Post

FWIW, the 1G pay-as-you-go plan is for 1G at 4G speed. When you max that out, you still have unlimited at 'E'dge speed. I didn't prove that, but was told by other cruisers this is so.

YMMV
Thanks for the update.

Did you find the speeds you got were 4G, or was it much slower as I'd heard from others? Where did you use it primarily?

You didn't happen to need it, but was there a hotspot-in-a-cellphone available when you were there?

Thanks.

L8R

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Old 30-05-2013, 16:52   #39
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Re: BTC Internet in the Bahamas

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Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
Thanks for the update.

Did you find the speeds you got were 4G, or was it much slower as I'd heard from others? Where did you use it primarily?

You didn't happen to need it, but was there a hotspot-in-a-cellphone available when you were there?

Thanks.

L8R

Skip

Used it successfully around Nassau, Norman Cay, Staniel Cay, and south end of Andros (Grassy Creek Cay area). Speeds were acceptable, slowest around Staniel which didn't make sense as you can see the tower from the anchorage.

We didn't look at the hotspot-in-a-cellphone option.
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