Maritime News

Internet access still limited at sea

30 June 2017

While internet and email are now major means of communication in many parts of the world, seafarer access to full facilities while they are at sea is still limited, according to a new survey by the European maritime union Nautilus. 

The survey, which covered nearly 2,000 seafarers and shipping industry leaders, found that although nearly 88 percent of seafarers had some internet access at sea, most had very limited speeds and high costs. Only 57 percent of crew had personal email access and just one-third had social media access at sea. Barely six percent had sufficient internet connectivity for video calls when at sea. Nearly two-thirds of respondents (63 percent) also suggested they would consider moving companies if better quality internet was on offer. 

More than one in 10 industry leaders surveyed (14 percent) admitted they did not provide any access to the internet for their employees; the main reasons were fears that crews would access illegal or adult content and the potentially high installation costs, but more than half were also concerned that provision would result in a distraction to work.

The union hopes that the survey results can lead to shipping companies providing free internet access to crews.

An investigation into connectivity at sea - https://nautilusint.org/media/1674641/Connectivity_at_sea_Nautilus_whitepaper.pdf

 




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