I recently got a Starlink RV system for Zanshin and it is impressive, typically with 200mbps download and 60mbps upload (faster than my Digicel connection). The residential version will be available in the BVI soon, at around $100 per month. That's essentially unlimited, although I think they will throttle your bandwidth after 1Tb in a month. I'm currently anchored in Rodney Bay and have great connectivity.
Anyway, I recall how much I had to pay for data in the BVI and particularly for those with residences on land this is really a game-changer. For those with addresses in the USA, you can already get a ""Starlink RV" and set it up in the BVI, but that is $130 per month and might have slower speeds as home units get priority in times of congestion. One can already pre-reserve a system on Starlink's very simple to use website; with delivery promised for 2023.
The Starlink is mounted forward in the picture below: [img]https://i0.wp.com/zanshin-sailing.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/20221222-zanshin-dishy-mcflatfacedng.jpg?fit=1920%2C1080&ssl=1[/img]
I am in the que for a system. Have tried for months to get flow to bring a fiber line to the villa. So far nothing has happened. Right now I am using a VPN to get all the USA channels. Males my villa look like it is in Miami. About $3/mo for this service.
I have had my deposit for Starlink in for 2 years, now, but I will believe residential Starlink in the BVI only when I see it happen. I think that the government is likely to prevent them from being operational here so that they can protect the current telecomm thieves.
And yet another Starlink option. I received this back in October. This it is basically their RV program using the full-size residential unit. I tried the RV unit, but service was spotty. You need an unobstructed view to north and we have too many trees on our property. Should not be a problem on a boat!
"Starlink Your service area remains at capacity which means we are unable to convert you to Residential service at this time. Our best estimate for delivery of Residential service in your area is now mid-2023.
Adding users before adding additional network capacity would result in delivery of a lesser service. However, we understand that some customers may have urgent connectivity needs with no other alternatives.
For those with urgent connectivity needs, we are offering a Best Effort service option.
What is Best Effort? Best Effort enables typical internet activity with the understanding that Best Effort users will be deprioritized behind Residential users.
The monthly service charge is the same but unlike Residential, Best Effort users will have the option to pause service on their account page."
I am using a borrowed Starlink RV unit on Anegada right now. I have done some performance comparison with it and my Digicel cellular service. My observations:
Speed: OK to Super. Using the Starlink app speed test, I have seen download speeds of over 200Mbps. Most tests show 20-30 Mbps. At the moment, I am seeing less than 10Mbps - still more than enough for TV streaming. I normally get 20-30 Mbps from by Digicel cellular, so no real difference now. I am guessing that the huge variation is speed is caused by variation in satellite availability. I expect this to improve when they start residential service here.
Latency: 50-100ms, about the same as Digicel.
Outages: Quite a few instances of "NO SATELLITES" or "NO SIGNAL RECEIVED". I expect this to improve when they start residential service here.
I am on land. The antenna is sitting in my front yard. I have done quite a bit of experimenting with the antenna. I have moved the antenna several times and always, within about 15 minutes, it finds its optimum orientation, which is due north with an elevation of about 30 degrees. Once at that position, it doesn't move again.
The "Network issue" still appears, with outages of about 15 seconds. Delving into the "Network issue", it is a problem with the satellite itself communicating with the internet. That is somewhat disturbing, as it seems that the satellites should pretty much always have connectivity with the internet.
My antenna orients itself at that angle as well on the boat. I've had it a week now and have had no serious outages except when it was actively re-positioning itself. I do turn it off when not in use, meaning it is only turned on for about 8 hours a day (while I'm working in the "office").
I have a starlink rv unit on Virgin Gorda for about 6 ;months now. No problems , very reliable speeds were around 80 download so great., Can't say enough about Starlink. Gives me TV service as if I was in Atlanta. So no geo problems.
3 days left before we reach Tortola, and I have been using mine since we left La Rochelle on 5/24. We’re currently 300nm east of St Martin. I’m on a Mobile Global subscription ($200/month) and get unlimited internet while coastal, within the hexagons, everywhere. When need at sea, I have just been sliding the toggle to Opt In to Mobile Priority ($2/GB) and then slide it off to Opt Out. When we are off shore on Mobile Priority, the dishy seems to go flat, in its own.
Other than a 30-35kt gust from TS Cindy lifting my dishy out of my temporary, MacGyver-esque, mount I made in Arrecife, it’s work really well for us. Fortunately, it was a gust from stbd and blew the dishy into the boat. 😜 I’ll set up a new, better mount before we return.
After we complete the delivery, we go home for 10 days, then return to sail her around the BVI for 3 wks. I can pause the service so it ends at the end of July and not be billed on months we’re not in the boat, and un pause for when we are back on the boat. I will probably change Mobile Global to Mobile Regional while she is in the BVI the next 3-4 yrs, to save $50/month.
What does Starlink cost when you're paused? We're on Lime mobile internet (haven't had landlines since well before Irma), for which they charge us ~$100/month year-round. If we could pause Starlink, it could be cheaper.