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Old 27-10-2020, 18:10   #1
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Prospects for oceanic internet access in a year or two?

I've been reading a lot of threads on this. My tentative plan is to be retired and have a boat and start sailing in 1 or 2 years. Right now, I connect through my internet service provider to the campus super computer to do heavy-duty analyses. I will continue that after I retire and wonder if internet service will get better, in the Caribbean, sailing the Gulf, across the Atlantic.

My internet service is not fast, at 6 Mbps. I found this in a thread, and it looks like that is not even possible currently from satellites.
https://www.reviews.org/internet-ser...net-for-boats/

In threads I read there was discussion of StarNet and of Elon Musk's low altitude satellite network.

Does anybody know anything solid about what may be available by 2021 or 2022?

Thank you!

Jim
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Old 27-10-2020, 19:48   #2
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Re: Prospects for oceanic internet access in a year or two?

It is available already. Check Inmarsat offer. We used it back in 2008.


Perhaps the new Musk constelation will offer something less expensive, but I am not sure what coverage his new network has.


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Old 27-10-2020, 20:27   #3
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Re: Prospects for oceanic internet access in a year or two?

You can get Inmarsat service today at those rates but it will cost thousands of dollars a month and the latency is a major drawback that makes the speeds meaningless for many applications, notably VPNs.


I myself doubt very much whether Starlink will be able to offer maritime service in the areas you name in two years. They are still in beta test for fixed service and are building out their constellation in northern latitudes first. I believe it will come with time, but take longer than two years. Call it informed speculation; I've been in the wireless data industry for decades.


Many places in the Caribbean have higher speed internet service available along populated portions of the coast. Speeds and costs are in very general terms similar to the USA with wide variation from one area to another.
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Old 27-10-2020, 20:38   #4
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Re: Prospects for oceanic internet access in a year or two?

Starlink today started sending out emails to interested parties for the public beta test. $500 for the terminal (+$50 shipping) and $99/month for service. Currently 30-60Mbps with 20-40ms latency. Only available in certain parts of the northern US.

Still no application for large numbers of mobile ground terminals, but things are progressing.
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Old 28-10-2020, 10:20   #5
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Re: Prospects for oceanic internet access in a year or two?

By the time you are ready , Starlink will be operational and cost will be less than $100 a year. Patience, my friend.
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Old 28-10-2020, 10:24   #6
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Re: Prospects for oceanic internet access in a year or two?

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Originally Posted by Captndave1 View Post
By the time you are ready , Starlink will be operational and cost will be less than $100 a year. Patience, my friend.
Starlink costs of $8/month seems dubious. Elon isnít that altruistic
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Old 28-10-2020, 10:40   #7
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Re: Prospects for oceanic internet access in a year or two?

Given that Starlink is charging beta testers $100/month I don't think we'll see $100/year. At least in the US you can't get that from a land-based fiber, cable, or mobile system, and Elon will never price himself less than competitively, so the best you can possibly hope for is par with those services. And given that his target audience is places where those services aren't available, expect a premium.
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Old 28-10-2020, 10:55   #8
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Re: Prospects for oceanic internet access in a year or two?

Affordable trans-oceanic internet access is still a way off. SpaceX's Starlink is the most promising option, unless you have the very deep pockets required for Inmarsat, but their first generation satellites lack a critical component - inter-satellite laser links.

For satellites in low earth orbit, the signal goes from a ground station, up to the satellite, and down to you. So you have to be within the coverage area of a ground station, not likely if you're in the middle of the ocean. Once laser links are deployed, the satellites can bounce signals over multiple hops until they reach a satellite that can downlink the signal to you. SpaceX recently did some on-orbit testing of these laser links, and were getting very good throughput. However, the lasers are only deployed on a few satellites, the rest will be part of the version 2 Starlink satellites, and there's no known date for that.

Trans-oceanic aside, Starlink appears poised to offer significant coverage as early as next year. That coverage will ultimately depend on where they can build ground stations, whether it be due to cost and logistics, or local government approval.

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Old 28-10-2020, 11:07   #9
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Re: Prospects for oceanic internet access in a year or two?

boats are about you adapting to what is out there not the other way round. It is unlikely you will ever see he sort of communications on a boat that are available on land even on a substantial ship and costs will always be high. So can you change the way you work? Could you do weekly data dumps rather than continuous links as a way of adapting?
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Old 28-10-2020, 11:09   #10
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Re: Prospects for oceanic internet access in a year or two?

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Starlink costs of $8/month seems dubious. Elon isnít that altruistic
The $100/year was a typeo I believe. As mentioned, the current Beta cost, if you can get in, is $100 a month.

Right now we are on an unlimited data cell plan that cost $90 a month and my speed tests prior to signing up averaged out to 6-8 mbps. Our $%^&*( DSL is 1.5 mbps. To get even the low end of the speed in the Beta would be at least 5-6 times faster than what we have at the moment.

If Musk gets StarLink to work financially, and I think he will, it and SpaceX, is what will put him in the history books.

Later,
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Old 28-10-2020, 12:30   #11
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Re: Prospects for oceanic internet access in a year or two?

I understand that if you're waiting for relatively affordable starlink anywhere other than the sorts of places you can already get cell service it's unlikely to be inside five years if not ten.

In the same way as the introduction of the tesla roadster was exciting, this is the same. But it was almost ten years from there to it being an everyday event to buy one.
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Old 28-10-2020, 12:47   #12
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Re: Prospects for oceanic internet access in a year or two?

Quote:
Originally Posted by river251 View Post
I've been reading a lot of threads on this. My tentative plan is to be retired and have a boat and start sailing in 1 or 2 years. Right now, I connect through my internet service provider to the campus super computer to do heavy-duty analyses. I will continue that after I retire and wonder if internet service will get better, in the Caribbean, sailing the Gulf, across the Atlantic.

My internet service is not fast, at 6 Mbps. I found this in a thread, and it looks like that is not even possible currently from satellites.
https://www.reviews.org/internet-ser...net-for-boats/

In threads I read there was discussion of StarNet and of Elon Musk's low altitude satellite network.

Does anybody know anything solid about what may be available by 2021 or 2022?

Thank you!

Jim

StarNet will be great, but meanwhile you will not be spending a large percentage of the year in the middle of any ocean, if you are even crossing them at all.


The go-to cruiser's Internet connection is via local mobile phone SIM card. Works great for that 90% of the time (circumnavigators) to 99.9% of the time (normal cruisers) you are in range of a mobile phone tower.
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Old 28-10-2020, 12:55   #13
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Re: Prospects for oceanic internet access in a year or two?

I have been talking with a new company worldwide roaming sim cards. Data plans etc, I don't have figures yet but it looks very promising and would save having to buy a local sim at each new port (figuratively speaking)

How much are most cruuisers paying on payg for data and how much data?
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Old 28-10-2020, 13:08   #14
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Re: Prospects for oceanic internet access in a year or two?

Google Fi is US$10/GB or less (they cap at $60/month and that gets you 22GB high speed), works out to about $3/GB if you go to the max. Digicel in Fiji offers 100GB (hotspot, 160GB total) for Fiji$20 (=US$10) or about US$0.10/GB (and they provide really fast connection speeds).

That's the range of prices we paid around the world over the past five years. Anything above $3/GB and we just opted to do without, or to do with very little. When we found places like Fiji, well we used more data.
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Old 28-10-2020, 13:29   #15
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Re: Prospects for oceanic internet access in a year or two?

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Google Fi is US$10/GB or less (they cap at $60/month and that gets you 22GB high speed), works out to about $3/GB if you go to the max. Digicel in Fiji offers 100GB (hotspot, 160GB total) for Fiji$20 (=US$10) or about US$0.10/GB (and they provide really fast connection speeds).

That's the range of prices we paid around the world over the past five years. Anything above $3/GB and we just opted to do without, or to do with very little. When we found places like Fiji, well we used more data.
Awsome thanks!
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