Originally Posted by ksanders
As others have indicated boat based internet is expensive.
Here's how we do it.
We have a Cradlepoint MBR1200B router on the boat (www.cradlepoint.com
What this device does is choose between AT&T and the KVH Vsat system.
When within range we use AT&T. We have a 60GB shared data plan that we use for all our devices and currently pay $3.50 per GB. Data rates are coming down, and we expect that rate will decrease over time.
When out of range of AT&T, which is often in the summer we use the KVH MiniVsat service. The cheapest rate we have been able to get from them is $0.49 per MB, and that requires a 2GB monthly commitment. At a thousand dollars a month or more for that service the only way we can justify it is to run our business. We consider it a cost of doing business. It allows us to conduct business while at sea, keeping us from having to staff the office.
I am going to guesstimate that 90% plus of boaters here on TF will be within cellular range 90% of the time. That makes cell based internet a viable option.
Yes, with a business justification sat internet is feasible. Are you running the V3, about $20,000 for the hardware, or a V7 - hardware much greater cost, but better rates available?
When I commented to the KVH man that I had hoped costs were coming down he said they are going the other way. Lots of demand from Superyachts/commercial charterers. Rates for running a V7 get as low as $0.12/Mb, for a monthly fee of $4800 and a 40Gb data allotment. Phone is cheap too at $0.05/minute. Reasonably well managed with individual user sign-on and data allocations. At present competitors have humongous dish sizes for data compared to KVH, maybe when their tech catches up there will be some price competition.
Interesting story. A local user started downloading a couple of movies to his iPad at the dock using WiFi. But the download did not get very far due to network congestion somewhere. Then he left the marina and headed offshore. His network automatically switched the internet service from WiFi to the mini-Vsat and the movie downloads resumed and completed. The end result was a $16,000 invoice for data that month!
TV is easy, so when my M5 ceases to work for any reason then I will certainly look at competitors. I have to say, touch wood, that the M5 is working flawlessly at present.