Advanced Television

“All aboard” for steamboat broadband

June 6, 2019

By Chris Forrester

About 1000 passengers – plus crew – on a fleet of Mississippi paddle wheel steamboats can now access satellite-delivered broadband.

The American Queen Steamboat Co has equipped its American Queen vessel with FMC GlobalSat connectivity. The company is adding connectivity to its sister vessels, American Countess and American Duchess.

The American Queen Steamboat Company operates a fleet of iconic paddlewheel riverboats along the Mississippi river and its tributaries, as well as on the Columbia and Snake rivers in the Pacific Northwest. The company is the premier riverboat cruise provider in the US, providing guests the opportunity to explore American history from a unique on-the-river perspective.

The FMC GlobalSat platform manages all handoffs and balances network traffic automatically, ensuring that the connection is always available. The system also relies on a robust architecture that optimises security by mitigating ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks, making it a compelling offering for security-conscious industries.

Outfitting each of the steamboat vessels with the 4G/LTSAT solution is accomplished in less than one day.  FMC GlobalSat employs the advanced Kymeta flat-panel satellite antenna to enhance satellite connectivity. The Kymeta antenna has no moving parts and automatically adjusts to track satellite connections while the vessel is in motion.

Thurman Jones, director of information technology of American Queen Steamboat Company, said the firm’s guests expect seamless and reliable connectivity as part of their cruise experience, and the experience with FMC GlobalSat thus far has exceeded expectations. FMC GlobalSat improves broadband connectivity throughout each cruise and does so at price points that are less than traditional satellite-centric broadband solutions.  FMC GloalSat anticipates that the firm’s customers and crew will be pleased with the reliability and security of this new service as it is activated across our entire fleet.

FMC has considerable experience working with deep-sea oil rigs and exclusive super yachts, and has long-term contracts in place with Intelsat and has recently signed an agreement with constellation operator LeoSat.

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