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Old 05-08-2007, 19:00   #16
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Been digging a little more on Fleet Broadband. The "lower cost" option of Sailor 250 (download of 284 kbps/upload of 225 kbps) is estimated to be $4 - $6K US for the hardware. They are much smaller and lighter than previous types of installations.

Although I couldn't find any rate structure, if they keep something similar to the Fleet 55 system, they will vary from $3 to $9 per minute, depending on whether it is voice, fax, or data (as well as the speed of data and whether it is streaming -- streaming being higher, of course).

While I would personally love to have (something close to) broadband, anytime, anywhere and could probably "write it off" as a business related expense, even if I kept it to 10 minutes a day, that's getting up to $2K per month. Not in the cards, for me. They would have to get the rates down to something .50 a minute for me to actually be able to consider it.

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Old 05-08-2007, 20:15   #17
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they will vary from $3 to $9 per minute,
If you pre pay I think $6/Min for 3000 minutes is about where it is right now. Getting to $0.50/minute is not in the cards. The global demand is too high for that price anytime at all. World cell phone coverage isn't that cheap yet.
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Old 05-08-2007, 20:54   #18
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internet access

When my borother traveled with us he had his laptop and used his broadband modem to hook into land based wifi networks. Many big marinas seem to have them, and if you are anchored nearby you can use the network, but may need to buy time off them (like in starbucks). In key west a lot of people had wifi on the boat that lived on the mooring field well away from land. Or if you have our kind of budget what you do is you get this long string see.. then attach it to a tin can then push that up against modem... then you pull it really tight... ;o) Just play scrabble at home and when yo need it use the intenet cafes to support the local economy. Even the most run down third world town has a net cafe tucked away somewhere nowadays.
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Old 05-08-2007, 21:25   #19
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Internet access should be free... absolutely free.

Don't give me all this BS about how expensive the infrastructure is/was. It should have and should owned by the people and no a for profit enterprise.

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Old 05-08-2007, 22:29   #20
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No free wifi and a 6 dollar cup-o joe (StarBucks Bah!)

I absolutely will not give anyone crap about the cost of infrastructure. A 1990 computer hooked up to dial-up with a keyboard that has a broken "e" key does not constitute too big an investment in infrastructure! ;o) Its still a hell of a lot cheaper than the big boy toys though. And I do mean toys.
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Old 17-08-2009, 09:00   #21
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Looking around out of curiosity. Figured things might have changed a bit in the last few years and they have. Global coverage excluding the polar regions. (where I understand the sailing is less than desirable anyhow!)

Thrane has released the Sailor 150 this summer. It's retailing for just under 9k. Mackay is selling promo cards with 30 minutes for 32 bucks.

Not cheap... but possible. very possible...
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Old 17-08-2009, 10:09   #22
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My company satellite phone is $1.99 per minute. I can't imagine that the connection would be very fast, but if you compose email offline and just log in once a day to upload/download messages, you could get by on somewhere between 2 - 5 minutes per login.
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Old 17-08-2009, 10:47   #23
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not an issue for us now, but if we do actually pursue the cruising bug my work will prolly be based on what internet I can get. Costal cruising where I can log in every day or so would be fine, but when I have a site launching I guess we would have to *park* for a week or two while I dealt with the last minute hysteria that accompanies a launch ;-)
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Old 17-08-2009, 17:25   #24
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Reasonably priced satellite wi fi is coming. I'm just not sure when.
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Old 17-08-2009, 17:35   #25
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If you have a smart phone you can tether it to a laptop. But you need to be in cell phone signal range which is longer than wifi. You can unlock the iPhone which I have and it works at least in the middle of the LIS and so forth.

Of course the trouble is that laptops can't take the abuse that a sailboat represents.
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Old 17-08-2009, 20:13   #26
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First, listen to Gordmay - all the islands and countries of the world are experiencing over-population and under-employment. They take their laws about "work permits" very seriously, very seriously. If caught you will be deported and once your have a "deportation" stamp in your passport your traveling days are virtually over.
- - Second, by "INTERNET OS" are you talking about "Cloud Computing?" I do not think cruiser will ever be able to utilize that during our lifetimes. Continuous internet access has been available for years, but as others have mentioned the costs are way out of our reach. Cruise ships have continuous internet access with those monstrous domes you see on top. And government ships (Navy, etc.) has continuous internet access at sea, but they are using your tax dollars to do it. Super yachts have it but you are looking a mega bucks for the equipment and air time.
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Old 17-08-2009, 21:02   #27
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Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
If caught you will be deported and once your have a "deportation" stamp in your passport your traveling days are virtually over.
I do not think cruiser will ever be able to utilize that during our lifetimes. Super yachts have it but you are looking a mega bucks for the equipment and air time.
Working on your boat via an American company is the same as traveling overseas and sending work related documents via the internet. People do it all the time and are not considered to be breaking visa laws. Now taking a job in country and working on the internet to do it might be more dicey, but if the business is in the US and you are not doing work actually in the country (taking jobs from the local economy) then I don't think there is much of an issue.

And since this thread began it appears that technology has made some big leaps and bounds. The system I found and posted about is retailing for between 5 and 9 thousand US dollars, takes 15 minutes to install and works over the entire globe, with the noted exception of the polar regions. Not to many penguins need internet I guess.

Total system weight? Try under 15 lbs for the system. Each of the 2 pieces is under 12" square.

Usage is selling for close to a dollar a minute.

I don't think we are talking about pie in the sky technology... sounds very doable to me.
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Old 17-08-2009, 22:31   #28
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- - I should have been clearer on the Work Permits. They are required if you are on land in the country receiving compensation for services. This is to protect the jobs for the locals. Doing work inside your boat at anchor or whatever, so long as it does not involve or require "on-land" activities does not require a work permit.
- - I would love to have access to the internet anytime, anywhere within the navigable waters of the world. It is available for huge bucks for Cruise ships, etc. The Trane 150 system is helping to bring down the cost but at 150 Kbps you are talking frustratingly slow service compared to the 5 - 11+ mbps available from local wifi. I have Globalstar with access at 19 kbps which is adequate for weather maps but not for any interactive graphics. I have to turn off all graphics in my browser when using the Globalstar system. However it is cost effective since it is unlimited minutes per year (which is not really much since getting a satellite lock-on is highly problematical and staying locked on for more than 15-20 minutes is not possible).
It appears the Thrane 150 is selling time at more than US$1 per minute which could run up some serious billing if surfing for 3-4 hours per day.
Wifi seems to be the best systems and is present virtually everywhere in the Caribbean at reasonable prices and occasionally even free. For the part of day or two days underway between islands - lack of internet is not a serious problem. I have not used any of my alternate access systems in two years or more as Wifi is "everywhere".
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Old 18-08-2009, 03:48   #29
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The Trane 150 system is helping to bring down the cost but at 150 Kbps you are talking frustratingly slow service compared to the 5 - 11+ mbps available from local wifi
It's not a similar comparison. The 150 Kbps is the download speed. The upload speed is not so great. The network operations center uses a very big dish transmitter to send you data as well as all the rest of the subscribers. You use a little bitty one to send it back. The ability to provide larger bandwidth via satellite is not like Wifi at all. Even as you increase the bandwidth the latency on the signal is not anything you can overcome. I've had land based satellite Internet before with 1 Mb download. The uploads were a small fraction. It means it's fine for downloading large streams but it suffers on all other applications.

The ability to cram data into a digital signal is about as compact as is possible with existing satellite communications. They already are doing a whole lot of tricks to compress data signals. I'm saying there is no technology to get more total bandwidth out of the technology at any price. So when you talk about $1 / minute costs being lower it's more that they sliced the bandwidth smaller and increased the number of concurrent users but they are not transmitting any more data than they used to from any one satellite.
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Old 18-08-2009, 06:52   #30
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A single satellite doesn't see ALL the world. They have a rather narrow, relatively speaking, area of coverage. There are specific slots allocated in the geostationary band, These are gone for the high coverage areas like North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. For the high seas, There are still slots available, but the US navy owns/leases the great majority of the available bandwidth, and they are looking for MORE! In any case, you could develop and launch a satellite for coverage in the sea. Last time I was briefed, Boeing has some unlaunched satellites they could possibly be talked into selling for the bargain basement price of $75 - $100 million or so! Launch price was something on the order of $25 - $50 million. So, if we all chipped in!

Continuous bandwidth in a low usage area where you are trying to spread the cost between the available users is an expensive proposition for those individual users. Should it be free? Hmmm... For boaters! Absolutely, lets all write our congressional representives!
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