Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Internet Connection

Last Week we decided to have a look round the boat show at the NEC we now realise that the only show really worth visting for anything canal related is Crick, still at the show did have one major result which was a guy called Julian. For ages since we decided to make our life changing decision to be liveaboards we have been looking into the best way to receive a reliable internet connection. So far we have explored using mobile phones, data cards and satellite (1 way), so that I can continue to run our CAD/CAM business whilst constantly cruising the system. I have found there is not a cheap way around this problem but think I may have to go the 1 way satellite route using a data card for the upload. I had for sometime going to use a company called AVC to provide this service but a couple of months ago they had to stop offering their one way satellite service, this service seemed so good as you could also receive satellite TV through the same dish. Well spoke to loads of people about getting a connection on a boat and to be honest most of them are only workable if you are a multi-millionaire with a very posh gin palace or an oil tanker fleet owner and sorry to say neither of these describes us. Then we arrived at Julians stand and to be honest didn't hold much hope as he wasn't advertising this type of service but thought we'd ask anyway, well how refreshing is it when you find someone who fully understands their business, apparently he has recently swapped a couple of people from their existing AVC accounts. We have since spoke to him and he gave us time, quality information and benefit of his experience and is putting forward a detailed quote to supply us with a system. Its a shame really as I think in a couple of years this will all be so easy with the advent of HSDPA (3.5G) but as our boat should be completed towards the end this year/early next year we don't think the networks will have spread wide enough with this type of coverage by then. One thing I did read the other day was that Vodafone/Orange are going to start sharing masts to improve coverage for both networks which could be good news, we will have to wait and see. We intend to use a self aligning dish with two LNB's so that we can also get TV through the dish although not at the same time but there is always has to be compromise whilst living on a boat (reckon this could be the liveaboards mantra). If anyone has any other solutions to this problem drop us a comment it would be great to hear from people who have experience of a good "on the cut connection"

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