Port launches free Wi-Fi at marinas

Boaters can now surf the web while snug in their slips at the Bremerton and Port Orchard public marinas.

The Port of Bremerton has launched a free Wi-Fi service at both Sinclair Inlet marinas, according to a Monday announcement.

“Studies have shown, and our customers have repeatedly told us that the number one utility they value bar none is connectivity,” port CEO Jim Rothlin said in the announcement. “It’s also the number one frustration they have with marinas as it can so often be weak, slow and unreliable.

The network provides a 125-megabyte-per-second access link shared by both facilities, which can be scaled up to 1 gigabyte-per-second as demand increases.

marina_23283854_ver1.0_640_480The system can accommodate up to 1,000 devices at a time. Service is provided by NW Commnet of Bremerton. 

In an email, Rothlin said the agency spent about $150,000 installing a fiber optic backbone and Wi-Fi system at both marinas.

Hardware chosen for the network had to be especially rugged to survive in the corrosive marine environment.

“I would say the biggest challenges were getting coverage through all parts each marina, dealing with getting coverage within covered moorage, and keeping the connection across the two marinas as the tide goes in and out,” Rothlin said. 

The full announcement, with more technical info, is posted below: 

BREMERTON, Wash., – The Port of Bremerton today announced the deployment of new Wi-Fi technology for Bremerton and Port Orchard marinas, which will provide its customers with some of the most robust Internet services available in a Puget Sound marina. Tenants and visiting boaters will now be able to enjoy complimentary access with improved coverage and capacity, courtesy of the new network connection that provides a 125Mb/per second access link that is shared by both facilities and can be easily scaled up to 1 Gigabit as demand increases. The new network allows up to 1,000 devices to be connected at one time.

“Studies have shown, and our customers have repeatedly told us that the number one utility they value bar none is connectivity,” said Jim Rothlin, Port of Bremerton CEO. “It’s also the number one frustration they have with marinas as it can so often be weak, slow and unreliable. Our goal with this investment was to ensure that our customers’ experience is unparalleled across the board. Besides the marinas’ physical amenities of wide docks, wide berths, huge fairways and pristine bathrooms, we now offer the ability to email, browse the web and stream easily, quickly and seamlessly.”

The marine environment is very tough: salt water, fog and rain take an impact. For this reason the equipment installed was designed for a harsh environment. A fiber optic backbone was installed throughout both properties connecting multiple access points to ensure that coverage was uniform no matter where in the marinas a boat is moored. In addition, commercial quality equipment that is used in multiple hospitality locations across the U.S. was deployed, so the system is very robust compared to typical residential systems.

Each of the access points is equipped with multiple wireless radios and a high-performance antenna so that every device on the network has a high speed channel and minimizes interference with other devices. The access points provide superior radio frequency (RF) control and can be managed to ensure that user performance is maximized. The wireless radios support not only 2.4 GHz devices but also the latest 5 GHz devices ensuring compatibility as well as support for the latest standards.  

About Bremerton Marina

Located on Sinclair Inlet, the state-of-the-art marina offers 220 permanent slips available on a month to month basis as well as room for 80-100 visiting boaters, accommodating boats up to 120 feet.  For more information please visit http://www.portofbremerton.org/marinas/bremerton or find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/BremertonMarina.  We can also be contacted at 360-373-1035.

About Port Orchard Marina

Located on the pristine waters of Puget Sound, our convenient greater Seattle area location offers easy access to boating locations from Olympia to the San Juan Islands and beyond! The charm of a walkable, friendly small-town has made this marina a favorite among boaters. Amenities include covered moorage, full service repair yards nearby and the Port Orchard Marina is pet friendly. Visit http://www.portofbremerton.org/portorchardmarina or call 360-876-5535 to learn more.

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