Fast Internet at Sea - ‘It’s as important as GPS.’
Caroline Blatter 26 Apr 2022 Mediterranean / Spain / Fort Lauderdale / Electric / Electronics & Audio / Visual Systems / Alaska / Cell Phones / Communications/ Data Roaming / Mallorca / Florida / Pacific Northwest
"Viasat offers continued cost efficient connectivity", states e3,
a leading global systems integrator
Since COVID, explains e3, demand has grown exponentially for fast and reliable Internet around the world, with more yacht owners than ever before using their vessels to run their businesses, and their families staying onboard longer lengths of time, with requirements for reliable bandwidth as well as streaming, for things like Zoom classes.
Equally, the crew on board require data for not only running the boat, but for keeping in contact with family and friends back home. “It’s a primary function of the day-to-day operations of the vessel and the business, and it’s as important as any other piece of electronics we have onboard,” Captain Michael Crosby of MY Carte Blanche commented.
The yacht sails from Florida to the Bahamas during the winter, and to Alaska during the summer. That means it’s at sea - far from any land-based internet service provider - about 100 days each year.
“The operations and management on the bridge is our primary concern,” Crosby said. “I can’t run this operation without the internet. It’s as important as a GPS is today. We have communications with vendors, management companies and crew members. We’re researching locations, weather, and trip planning. Our engineer needs it to be able to find parts and communicate with his vendors, and our chef needs it for meal planning. When our owner is on board, he’s working and needs internet access.”
MY Carte Blanche - 2008 49m Christensen built classic ( image Yacht Charter Fleet)
MY Carte Blanche has been a client of e3 Systems for a while. “Making major changes is always daunting, but as e3 Systems has been a trusted partner in all of our communication needs, we let them guide us through the maze of options”, said Captain Crosby.
“e3 Systems suggested Viasat, and after researching it and multiple discussions with Angus MacKenzie from Fairport Yacht Support, our management company, who provide ongoing crucial input, advice, and support for all our technical and day-to-day operations, we decided to go ahead with Viasat.” Crosby said. “I’d heard great things and also knew what Viasat has done in the aviation industry. Based on all that, Viasat was the way to go.”
The installation took place during the Summer of 2021. MY Carte Blanche was en route to a summer tour of Alaska at the time, so e3 Systems sent their engineers to meet the yacht and install the service in Monterrey, CA.
e3 Systems’ support and engineers are very customer-service friendly
“It worked incredibly well in Alaska; the only issues occurred when the yacht was close to a mountain or glacier,” Crosby said. “Other than that, the service was phenomenal and fast. And it works great here in the Bahamas, too. We are extremely happy with it. It was the right decision. The performance is superior to any other system I have seen in my experience as a captain — and it’s cost efficient,” said Crosby, who’s Captained the Carte Blanche for 10 years.
Viasat began offering VSAT solution with its ViaSat-2 satellite, and e3 Systems said it’s been a good solution for several of its superyacht clients. Viasat is a Ka Band service and is capable of up to 100Mbps speeds.
Purchase is by the number of streaming hours, not on speed. Now for the first time, streaming is capable with speeds guests are used to at home. Not just one stream, but multiple – Hulu, Netflix, AppleTV etc !
“Our clients need fast service, but it’s typically very, very expensive,” said Sharon Phillips, US Sales & Marketing Manager for e3 Systems USA, “so, they are always looking for alternative options. For many of them, Viasat is that option. It provides double the bandwidth for half the price but purchased differently.”
“We’re a big advocate of Viasat,” she added. “We like the product. It provides 4G speeds out at sea and has plenty of bandwidth to support clients such as Carte Blanche.”
Yacht engineer Rahula Brown said any issues with the Viasat service on Carte Blanche have been quickly addressed. “They have our backs 100 percent,” agreed Crosby. “When there are problems and we reach out to e3 Systems’ technical support, they are right there, and work diligently to solve them.”
The Next Generation VSAT...
Safe Harbor Rybovich Marina Presentation - April 2022
e3 Systems hosted a presentation this week at Safe Harbor Rybovich Marina on Viasat Maritime, with Sharon Phillips from e3 Systems USA & Eric Verheylewegen, Viasat's VP Global Maritime Sales, welcoming a group of captains and engineers to share updates with them and to highlight how Viasat brings 4G speeds and streaming to vessels at sea at affordable rates.
e3 team on the docks in the MED