What is Beacon?
Beacon is a full service wireless networking and media company exclusively servicing the marine market. Beacon is at the forefront of intersecting wireless technologies (The Beacon Wi-Fi Network), wireless amenity services (Beacon Wi-Fi FREE services), and wireless hardware products (Get Unplugged Now). It is a collection of companies and services focused on the marina market and its surrounding community.
The Beacon Wi-Fi Network is the largest Wi-Fi network of its kind and is designed to provide in-cabin wireless coverage at marinas, with all of their shapes and sizes, so boat owners, crew, marina staff and visitors can reliably surf the net, connect securely via VPN to their corporate networks, watch TV*, talk on the phone, watch movies*, trade stocks, work and play. *incoming bandwidth dependent
Beacon Wi-Fi Amenity services are offered at most of our marina, yacht club and port partners as a FREE service to their boating customers, slip holders and members. This amenity offers a tremendous draw for transient locations and a great everyday service in high demand, such as power, pump out and laundry. Marinas, yacht clubs and ports who offer the Beacon Wi-Fi FREE service not only offer Internet service for FREE at their location but (in some cases more importantly) provide their clientele with FREE roaming at all of our 250+ locations!
Get Unplugged Now was started in 2005 to provide Beacon Wi-Fi customers with wireless hardware and media solutions ranging from small wireless boosters to full amped up systems providing wireless range up to 1 mile. As technology changes, Get Unplugged Now is always trying to help their customer adapt to changing environments. Get Unplugged Now purchased the BBX Store in 2010 and now serves both US and CAN coasts with wireless networking, long range adapters, webcams, etc.
Beacon was started in 2002 by two avid boaters with an idea, a desire and a passion to own a lifestyle business and a whole bunch of wireless experience. The idea was to provide high speed wireless access to the Internet for boaters while at their marinas, where we figured that the sky is the limit once a reliable and stable connection could be made. The desire and passion came from a vision to actually enjoy going to work every day. The experience was a combined 45 years of direct experience in building wireless companies, while holding and every management and major executive position. The combination of training and experience in marketing, engineering, sales, operations, finance and mergers and acquisitions have served well, from installing the largest network in the marine industry to navigating the company through interesting economic times.
The work to develop the Beacon Wi-Fi Network started in a co-founder’s living room (which used to be a garage!) with a couple of friends, a business plan and a single marina installation. After more than 10 years, Beacon has grown organically, adding marina by marina and through 7 acquisitions. The Beacon Wi-Fi Network now covers multiple states, provinces, territories, countries, coasts, bodies of water, cultures and time zones – servicing over 5,000 boat owners every day.
Beacon’s Wireless Difference – Beacon Wi-Fi Network
The Beacon Wi-Fi Network currently has over 1,500 access controllers and access points installed in over 17 states/provinces/territories, supporting over 300 marinas and 500 peripheral locations. Upwards of 5,000 wireless customers use the network daily with a wide variety of wireless LAN cards from unusual angles, vantage points, locations beneath the water line, inside/outside of buildings – all with the same expectations: It should work better than their home networks. Success in responding to these types of difficult expectations starts and ends with a professional and proven wireless network which anticipates the issues that users will face and – addresses them upfront during the design and installation. Over the years Beacon engineers have learned to optimize power, gain, throughput and cost to deploy best in class marina networks on the market today, period.
The Beacon wireless technology is simply different. There are custom software scripts, configuration settings, wireless noise management and unique configurations that set Beacon apart from the rest. There are many companies that take pictures of our equipment and find something off-the-shelf that looks similar to our installations – only to find out the hard way that “what’s under the hood is what counts”. We use specific radios that are packaged in many off-the-shelf enclosures -then – we blow away the operating systems and BEACONIZE their performance!
Beacon has been designing, installing, supporting and managing complex outdoor and indoor wireless networks since 2002. Inherent in our core business, providing wireless networks and media to the marine market is a “last mile” problem. The complexities of this market have forced us, over time, to develop a certain expertise and problem solving skills that combine engineering and art, nuance and revolution, compounded expertise and good-old-fashioned trial and error. Network administration and management companies that once littered the marine market with traditional networking solutions have long since been relied upon to solve the most complicated and ever changing technical and wireless challenges of the marine market.
Proof of this dilemma is evidenced by the fact that 50% of our new business (new marinas added to the network) is a direct result of failed installations by our competition, driving marina management to abandon existing networks and entering into agreements with Beacon Wi-Fi, the proud and proven leader in our field.
Beacon is in Portland, ME and Emeryville, CA today!
The Harborage Marina in St Petersburg, FL has joined Beacon with a NextGen Marina Wi-Fi Network!
©2011 Beacon All rights reserved. All trademarks and registered trademarks are acknowledged