Andros Island Connectivity?

I just had a client drop an interesting requirement on me.

They are on Andros Island (Bahamas) for about a year. I'm working on
getting an exact address from the adminisphere above me, but all I've been
told so far is they are 'near the naval base'.

They just called and said "We need internet access yesterday".

None of the people on-site are technical, and all their data is accessed
via RDP on a server in the United States.

Having never been there, I have no idea if it's like downtown San Francisco
where the internet grows on trees, or if it's like the Sahara desert which
might require dragging your own fiber in on camelback...

Does anyone have pointers on who to talk to or how I can get them internet



Cross-posting this over to the WISPA list to see if there are any Wireless
ISPs over there that can help you.


Aaron are they supporting the range? If so there are options.

I suggested VSAT. Probably the quickest and cheapest.

It's the quickest but certainly not the cheapest.

Says.. Who?

Yeah, how many thousands is it per meg of space segment?

Not that I'll argue it isn't costly, but how else can you rail in up to 100mbps in an afternoon..? I would imagine this type of inquiry comes in after it has been established that there is little to no connectivity.

Depends.. Space segment runs from 1300 a mhz for inclined all the way to 6k a month a mhz for hard to get weird stuff. We oversub to make the economics work often.

Bingo. And you're absolutely right in that setting it up can be really fast.

But cheap? Not for a quality connection.

We can make it work usually. An Hd TV channel takes something like 3mhz now. Things have improved greatly in our industry. Not to say there isn't the occasional weird situation. But when you come in to a site and it's up within an hour you are usually elevated to rockstar status. It takes longer to demarc a loop at the niu than it does to point an antenna.

Harris/CAPROCK,, provides VSAT worldwide to shipping, offshore platforms and remote islands.

Additionally, Andros has quite a bit of undersea fiber going to it. The USAF Eastern Test Range and the Naval base there was the forcing function. The range contractor,, could probably give you a heads up or if I can help I can call some friends there.


Or you could just use my networks?

If you need more than a megabit, don't forget to factor in the link budget and the resulting power and hardware requirements to support larger bandwidths. Then you're looking at something that is probably not available today on the island. If the connection needs to be up 24/7, even in heavy rains, then you're looking at something in C-band which then requires a larger antenna. You'll be hard pressed to do any real bandwidth at Ku-band with anything less than a 1.2m antenna. C-band, you're looking at 3.7m or so minimum.

The Ku-band iDirect system I manage for the City of Chicago runs 3 Mbps up and 3 Mbps down at Ku-band. There are 6 remotes on the system, 5 are vehicles. The vehicle antennas are 1.2m but they require 25 Watt amplifiers to reliably close the link all the time. Clear day is fine on much less power. Heavy rains, forget it. 25 Watts isn't enough.

Now we are partying! Let me get on my computer so I can respond.

Protracted discussion (and promotion) has glossed over one key point:

None of the people on-site are technical, and all their data is accessed
via RDP on a server in the United States.

They will not be happy with VSAT latency (typically 700ms though
physics says you can never do better than 550, and that's for the
space segment alone) if they are running RDP, VNC, Citrix, or similar
technologies. Sorry for being a buzzkill, Warren. :slight_smile:



Actually, we use some TCP ninja techniques to make Citrix/RDP work.
Basically, we ack the packets on both sides to prevent the delay from
occurring. It's kind of like acceleration, except there aren't really any
devices in between the session. There is a single box at the transmit
station (we call it a hub) and nothing on the other side.

And for the record, you're never a buzzkill Rob. I live with latency every
day, she's a decent girl when you treat her right.. :wink:

I was going to mention this but failed to do so.

At the very least, do some testing first to make sure that the latency isn't going to introduce unforeseen issues. Case in point, the Chicago satellite-based network that I manage is sometimes used for Police / Fire / EMS dispatching. The City's Computer Aided Dispatch system ended up crashing during an early test when it was discovered that it couldn't handle the high latencies encountered on satellite links. This required the vendor to adjust the code to deal with these issues. Granted this is an extreme example, but the point is that the physics of satellite links can do all sorts of things to applications that one might not expect.

Ryan Wilkins is who we work with (and sell). Don't mean to
advertise on NANOG, more of an FYI and place for those who care to learn
something. I hate the fact that satellite is looked at like a white
unicorn, it's a pretty cool solution that will perform day in and out for
as long as you need it to.

I've used them before on SCPC links. I discovered on a boat one time that the XipLink unit we were using wasn't exactly designed to handle vibrations from engines nor the constant pounding of a hull on water when in the ocean with large swells. Back then the boxes were 1U rackmount PCs running some variant of BSD, and we had issues with the Ethernet card coming out of the PCI slot after a few hours of operational use. Maybe they've migrated to something a little more robust now. Of course, most normal customers don't put them on boats to begin with. :slight_smile:

I agree with your comment about satellite. It has its place. Some things it is particularly well suited for. Other things, maybe not so much. I often don't mention satellites when someone asks what I do because most people assume I'm a DirecTV installer which couldn't be further from the truth.