Little Gasparilla Island Internet

A Bridgeless Barrier Island on the Gulf of Mexico, Placida, Cape Haze Florida 33946

Internet options on Little Gasparilla Island include 4G LTE cell service from Verizon and AT&T, a broadband WISP that serves primarily the bay side, and satellite internet.

suncoast broadband wisp serving LGI

With a line of sight to their tower, Suncoast Broadband ( 800-903-8202 ) would be my Little Gasparilla Island broadband Internet option of choice because it has a better pricing model than 4G LTE, low latency, you don't have to closely watch a bandwidth meter like with cellphone internet, and it offers reasonably fast speeds and differnet plans to choose from at good prices.

While on LGI, I tested both Verizon and AT&T 4G LTE using mobile hotpots from each company, and both worked reasonably well. Elevation generally yeilds faster speeds, and in a lower house I did have to move the hotspot around some to get a solid signal. It's good to have coverage from two providers, and nice to be able to check in on things at different points around the Island or when walking north to the Don Pedro State Park. I have summarized some testsat different places on Little Gasparilla Island on this page. I don't know what caused the latency spikes on Verizon; only one Verizon hotspot was available for testing and should be compared with other devices in the future. 4G LTE works well for vacationers since most already have an AT&T or Verizon device which can be used and tethered or used as a mobile hotspot. I have not tested Sprint (which offers lower cost for higher bandwidth packages) or T-mobile on the Island.

Finally there is 2-way satellite, which would usually be my choice of last resort due to the higher latency and contract requirement of satellite (having used satellite from 2001 to 2008, which was good at the time, but not compared to lower latency options today). On a positive note, Exede offers a Freedom Plan for the 33946 area which is quite good as satellite plans go, offering 12 |Mbps down, 3 Mbps up, and 150 GB of data for $99/month. There is also HughesNet. This was a backup option in our LGI rental unit, and worked although the ~1000 ms latency was noticeable compared to 4G.

There is landline telephone service, but no DSL yet over these lines. Palm Island is served by extremely fast comcast cable and Internet, but it's not yet available on LGI. Some people on the Island are working to try and get either cable or dsl to serve LGI for more affordable and easy Internet for those who need or want it; talks were reported by the LGPOA.

Little Gasparilla Island 4G LTE Speed Tests

LGI Location Download Speed (Mb/s) Upload Speed (Mb/s) LTE Carrier Ping Time (Min ms) Ping Time (Max ms) Ping Time (Average ms) Test Height Test Date Test Device
South of Coconut Palm Lane 15.00 3.63 Verizon 75 914 233 Highest Dec 2014 Jetpack
South of Coconut Palm Lane 12.27 4.56 AT&T 99 339 214 Highest Dec 2014 UnitePro
Alborado 15.87 12.22 Verizon 87 858 221 Highest Dec 2014 Jetpack
Alborado 5.71 4.03 Verizon 87 858 221 Medium Dec 2014 Jetpack
Alborado 16.4 4.99 Verizon 87 858 221 Medium Dec 2014 Jetpack
Alborado 12.16 9.37 AT&T 87 285 209 Highest Dec 2014 UnitePro
Marsh Street 22.79 5.29 Verizon 92 799 257 Highest Dec 2014 Jetpack
Marsh Street 12.69 10.00 AT&T 101 286 211 Highest Dec 2014 UnitePro
Marsh Street 10.29 9.52 AT&T 101 286 211 Highest Dec 2014 UnitePro
Marsh Street 11.45 3.84 AT&T 101 286 211 Medium Dec 2014 UnitePro
Rumrunner Road 7.05 2.84 Verizon 86 862 210 Medium Dec 2014 Jetpack
Rumrunner Road 10.50 5.53 AT&T 104 311 205 Medium Dec 2014 UnitePro
King Street 15.19 3.15 Verizon 82 932 255 Highest Dec 2014 Jetpack
King Street 16.33 2.85 Verizon 86 856 214 Highest Dec 2014 Jetpack
King Street 19.83 3.87 AT&T 141 285 218 Highest Dec 2014 UnitePro
King Street 23.13 4.68 AT&T 105 254 187 Highest Dec 2014 UnitePro
Behind House that reaches over Gulf 7.43 2.01 Verizon 79 863 255 Lower Dec 2014 Jetpack
Behind House that reaches over Gulf 9.43 2.47 AT&T 111 327 222 Lower Dec 2014 UnitePro

Note: these were the speeds I recorded with a quick canvas around the Island one day using two mobile hotspots. It's probably possible to get faster speeds with careful location or different devices. The Height "highest" is a high second story; Medium is a first story up on pilings. Lower is a low house. I was able to get an ATT signal on my iphone on ground level in many places, although sometimes I had to move around a bit. (ATT iphone 5, graphed with RootMetrics) People I talked with on the Island generally recommended Verizon over AT&T. The models I tested with were a Verizon Jetpack MiFi 5510L 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot and an ATT Unite Pro (781S). Speed tests were done with for upload and download speeds, and by running a ping test for 3 minutes. In the future I'd like to get results from another model Verizon Jetpack to see if the hotspot was contributing to the intermittent high pings on Verizon or test Verizon with a Cradlepoint MBR1400 or Peplink BR1.