Each cruise ship accident attorney at our firm knows all too well that sometimes incidents can occur onboard a vessel that may lead to serious, if not fatal injuries. Between accidents that involve crewmember negligence to crimes such as sexual assault or theft, people can get hurt while out at sea and many times, are unable to report the crimes because of a lack of cell phone reception or slow Internet connections. However, the days of online slagging aboard cruise vessels may soon be coming to an end. According to a communications company that provides Internet service on several cruise vessels, a new plan is underway to increase connection speeds onboard.
MTN Satellite Communications explained its new MTN Nexus network will be fast enough to allow cruisers to stream videos and post photos on social networking sites like Facebook.
“If this thing feels twice as fast we’ve failed,” said MTN CEO and president Errol Olivier to USA TODAY. “It’s got to feel five times, 10 times faster. It’s got to get close to the land-based experience.”
While being able to access social media sites is a plus for many travelers, having a faster Internet connection will also improve the way cruise ship accidents and crimes are reported. Being able to connect with an attorney immediately following an incident onboard can make a huge difference in the outcome of a case. Victims will be able to report what happens right away and can even send pictures to back up their claims, which will exponentially increase their chances of having their cases resolve favorably.
MTN said it has already laid the groundwork for the project and two new satellites have been scheduled for launch in 2015 and 2016 over the Caribbean and Mediterranean. The satellites will enable the communications company to send “spot beams” of Internet bandwidth at areas that are frequently visited by cruise ships, providing much stronger signals than were previously available.
In addition, MTN is working on a project to provide shore-to-ship wireless systems in major cruise ports in the Bahamas, Caribbean, Alaska and Europe that will increase the amount of data it routes to ships at sea. New wireless systems are already set up at seven sites in Alaska and MTN is now working on setting them up in the Caribbean and Europe. By next year, the company plans to have the new systems available at 39 different locations.
“We’re now in a position where … we will have different types of packages where people can have immediate deliver or delayed delivery (of data),” added Olivier, acknowledging that cruise passengers are not happy with the current Internet connections available onboard.
Although the project will greatly benefit cruise travelers and hopefully improve the rate at which accidents and crimes on the high seas are reported, incidents are taking place right now and travelers need assistance immediately. Our attorneys have recognized the need for a fast response when dealing with incidents onboard cruise ships, so we have created a Smart phone app that allows users with iPhones and Androids to reach our firm via Skype. The innovative “Cruise Ship Lawyer” app is free to download and also provides convenient features that will help passengers document incidents, including a camera, flash light and expenses tracker. It is available for download now.