The issue of internet access is a constant and universal theme of the Seafarers Happiness Index. At its most basic level, seafarers with access are happy, while those without it feel extremely frustrated.
It is strongly hoped by seafarers that all ships will have internet access before too long and that the bandwidth and download speeds will be good, and that cost will no longer be a barrier to have to constantly consider. The message from the Seafarers Happiness Index returns is very clear, the days of expensive telephone cards, or even only having access to e-mail is not felt to be sustainable.
The internet, just as ashore, has changed everything and the ripples are extending out to sea. At the moment those without internet access are still experiencing high costs, low quality and even issues such as a lack of privacy.
There are many seafarers who strongly believe the issue of seafarer internet access is something which needs legislating for, and that every vessel and as such every seafarer should have access.
Connectivity is felt as being the most obvious and simple answer to ensure that seafarers are able to cope with boredom and loneliness. WiFi, it is often stated, makes life at sea “easier”. There are even seafarers willing to leave jobs or to refuse to join vessels where internet access or calls are not provided.