— February 2003
By Ben Ellison
Web Surfing at Sea
|TeleSea Ultra Broadband|
TeleSea is a new name in marine communications, with an ambitious and unique nonsatellite broadband technology. It's based on the hot 802.11b wireless protocol, sometimes called Wi-Fi, that you may have seen being used by über geeks in airports or Starbucks. In those places, Wi-Fi offers super-fast 2- to 5-Mbps Internet speeds using modest equipment, but only at ranges of a few hundred feet. Somewhat more powerful transceivers are being installed to cover marinas these days, but somehow TeleSea has managed to legally ramp up Wi-Fi range to about 30 miles over water and has built its own antenna networks covering a number of boating areas like South Florida, Long Island Sound, and San Francisco Bay.
While TeleSea's Gold program offers an around-the-clock network operations center with concierge service, its main appeal is unlimited high-speed Web surfing for $500 a month-- relatively inexpensive compared to other marine systems. However, the initial hardware cost is $7,500, and the coverage area is quite limited...so far. TeleSea intends to soon extend service along the coasts and into the Caribbean and also plans to introduce a worldwide flat-fee satellite service this spring.
TeleSea Phone: (800) 747-9946. www.teleseawireless.net.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.