Introduction; what is Broadband?
There are many definitions of broadband given by different sources.
This ranges from “high-speed Internet access” to “a data connection with a minimum data speed of 128kbps (DSL) or 256kbps (ADSL) or 4Mbps (FCC)”. The generally accepted (OECD) norm is a data connection with a data transfer rate for downloads and/or uploads of minimum 256kbps or more.
For maritime use this means a “gateway” be it a satellite, 3G or WIFI terminal, with a connection speed enabling email/Internet and/or FTP shore-to-ship and/or ship-to-shore data to be transferred from/to a vessel with at least 250kbps.
Only a couple of years ago, ship owners worldwide questioned the necessity of such “high” speeds and were perfectly happy with speeds of 64 or 128kbps.
Today, with the advance of Internet, email, video conferencing, vessel management software, ECDIS chart updates, IT and remote monitoring of on-board systems widely used on board vessels, most ship owners agree that these speeds are no longer sufficient and are therefore asking one question only; which broadband service is right for me?