Cruise Control Unite removes the pain of managing crew internet access


NSSLGlobal’s new crew portal and managed service allows vessel operators and owners to easily control crew bandwidth consumption whilst creating a better experience for users

6 September 2016 – Award winning satellite communications provider NSSLGlobal is enhancing its value-added service proposition with the launch of the new Cruise Control Unite module. This flexible module can be applied to any crew LAN to create a portal where the crew use bandwidth ‘vouchers’ (or a login) to access the internet. NSSLGlobal’s managed service ensures everything is centrally controlled and bandwidth vouchers are created and distributed to vessels, thus controlling bandwidth usage without burdening the ship’s captain or IT manager unnecessarily. 

Cruise Control Unite can be installed remotely for existing users of Cruise Control without the need for additional hardware.  Bandwidth ‘vouchers’ can be configured to permit usage by MB/GB limit over a day, week or month (or a combination), or by time limit every 24 hours (e.g. two hours per day), with users able to see their current usage and remaining balance. For ‘luxury’ applications (where vouchers may not be appropriate) Cruise Control Unite can be configured as fixed accounts with user names and passwords.

“With MLC-2006, and increasing expectations amongst crews for constant access to their digital lives, managing crew’s personal data consumption is becoming essential,” commented Sally-Anne Ray, CEO of NSSLGlobal. “Most companies want to allow fair-use access to internet services. However, if left unregulated, personal data use (as well as the background activity of personal devices), can leech data in an uncontrolled manner.

“Cruise Control Unite gives companies a way to ensure that personal crew connectivity does not unduly eat into bandwidth or data allowance reserved for more commercial and operational tasks. It also removes the need for senior staff to spend time managing such issues. Pilot trials have shown that by better managing network access crews’ experience and satisfaction increased massively and networks ran far more smoothly.”

The Cruise Control Unite service can be applied to Wi-Fi or fixed Ethernet access. The portal is configured to disconnect users from the system when it detects they have been inactive for a period of time to prevent accidental access and to get devices off the network so they’re not consuming unnecessary bandwidth when they’re not being used.

Portal login pages can be branded with company logos and bespoke help text. Free access to ‘walled garden’ areas can also be set up to allow essential websites or training content to be accessed by crew without consuming their voucher allowance.

Cruise Control Unite is a new module of NSSLGlobal’s broader Cruise Control value added solution designed to help modern vessels and sites manage corporate and welfare networks. Cruise Control includes: a firewall; DHCP server; web filter; service assurance (multi-wan provision) with manual failover to backup provider and automatic failback to main provider; an email server with highly efficient over the air compression; and assisted beam switching.