Tuesday, March 18, 2014

You're Different

(0:56) One question that often comes up when we are talking about WiFi performance with a marina is, "Why can Hilton and Starbucks and other businesses provide good reliable WiFi but we seem to have problems?" The answer is that marinas and boatyards are different in some significant and important ways.

(0:48) The most obvious difference is that you provide WiFi service out in the elements. Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night shall keep the WiFi... you know the quote. Things like wind, rain, and even temperatures can cause interference in an outdoor WiFi setup, particularly if it has not been designed and set up to work in this harsh environment.

(0:40) There will often be components that must reside out in the elements exposing the equipment to extreme temperatures and moisture. In many marinas there is saltwater which is even more corrosive. Even if you are able to place your equipment undercover, it is still more exposed than devices installed in a hotel or coffee bar.

(0:32) Then there are the ever changing conditions of boats coming and going. Think of a sailboat alone at a dock who's WiFi signal is great until they become surrounded by two large double-decked power boats that block their signal.

(0:27) You might have covered slips with metal roofs causing interference or a large storage or work shed between the boater and the signal source. Few marinas sit in a densely packed basin but are more commonly spread out along the water.

(0:22) Now let's assume you can provide a strong reliable signal out to the dock. What happens when that boater who was sitting in the cockpit surfing the web wants to go below and surf from the iPad in their stateroom? Will the signal remain strong as they move below?

(0:16) It is no wonder that systems designed for orderly, predictable, indoor applications fall apart when tried in a marina setting. You are different. You need designs, equipment, and layouts that have been designed to satisfy the complexities of your environment. You are different, so make sure your WiFi provider has experience in marina installations because it doesn't matter how many hotels or doctor's offices or Starbucks they have worked on. If they don't understand your unique situation, they will not be able to offer the service your customers demand.

(0:05) Satisfied customers means more business for you.

(0:02) And that's the marina minute.