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Are crew expecting too much from the internet on-board?


Nearly 1 in 2 crewmembers expect connectivity at sea to be on par with land-based coverage Research by satellite communications service provider shows 46% of superyacht crewmembers expect coverage at sea to be on par with home broadband.

Research by NSSLGlobal, the satellite communications service provider, has revealed significantly overinflated expectations amongst superyacht crewmembers regarding the amount of on-board bandwidth that should be available to them. NSSLGlobal’s survey of 238 superyacht crewmembers has revealed that nearly half feel connectivity should be the same or nearly the same as they can experience at home. This suggests the potential for serious issues, both in terms of crew dissatisfaction and high data use.

The superyacht sector is typically an early adopter of new technology, and superyacht users are constantly pushing for greater wireless speeds. 90% of crewmembers have access to their respective superyacht’s internet connection. However, crewmembers’ expectations, arguably coloured by their experience with on-land broadband, may cause issues for bill payers, and lead to anticipations that cannot be met at sea.

In fact, crewmembers’ growing exposure to mobile devices may create a significant issue even when those devices are not in use. Crew members typically have at least two devices on board (90%) and sometimes up to six (16%), all of which may be inadvertently drawing ‘parasitic’ data even when not-in-use. 10%, in fact, are unaware that this happens at all.

In order to manage the rising demand for faster, more widespread coverage and increasing number of personal devices, superyacht owners can implement fair-usage policies and education programmes to help crewmembers use bandwidth more productively. This can lead to a better service for all.

Sally-Anne Ray, Managing Director at NSSLGlobal said: “The current IT-savvy generation want to stay connected wherever possible and see the ocean as an inferior obstacle. The ubiquity of connectivity to which we have all become so used-to on-land risks presenting something of a ‘digital culture shock’ when at sea.”

“Increasing demand for high-quality network coverage at sea presents both a challenge and opportunity to satellite and IT companies. It is vital that services continue to improve in terms of speed and geographical coverage and at NSSLGlobal, we are committed to providing a global service through our VSAT network.”

“However, understanding who is using what, ensuring bandwidth is not being wasted by unused applications or automatic updates and outlining a fair-use plan for crewmembers and guests on board is as important to avoiding a maritime capacity crunch. We see it as our responsibility to help our customers with these processes through services such as our customer portal and our customer service team.”

*Research of 238 respondents conducted by NSSLGlobal in partnership with The Crew Report.

NSSLGlobal are exclusively represented in the Balearics by Horizon Marine Electronics and more information is available at www.horizonme.eu