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simpub
(@simpub)
Advanced Member

Hi everyone 😀

I've been doing some research for a while (without making any phone calls yet) and I keep seeing that VIYA offers fiber optic internet, but I can't seem to find it actually available anywhere.  I only see 100 Mbps service, which wouldn't be enough for us.

Starlink may be an option in the next couple years, but just wondering if anyone's heard of people who actually have fiber, specifically on St. John?

Thanks!

Mark

😀

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Topic starter Posted : September 7, 2020 8:05 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

Just to be brutally honest, internet services in the VI truly suck.

You might be able to pay for <100 mbps service, but, you'll rarely if ever actually get it.

Starlink does sound promising if only less expensive.

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Posted : September 8, 2020 3:52 pm
simpub liked
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Trusted Member

Using the Ookla Speedtest app, Starlink beta users found speeds as high as 60 Mbps downstream and 17.7 Mbps upstream. Latency was as low as 31 milliseconds. Speeds ranged from 36 Mbps to 60 Mbps on the download and 5 Mbps to 17.7 Mbps on the upload. 

 

But it should get better. 

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Posted : September 8, 2020 4:04 pm
simpub liked
simpub
(@simpub)
Advanced Member

@vicanuck

Okay, well, I would be interested in hearing some of the wisdom as to how to stay connected.  We're looking at moving our business to the VI, and I guess we'd need backup, not only for the power outages, but also for the internet outages as well. 

In my mind, I'm thinking we get two internet providers, one of which I am guessing will be VIYA for the time-being, but I am wondering what's the best for the other service?  Wireless?  Satellite (ugh)?  

Maybe Starlink will be up to their advertised 1 Gig speed quick enough, even 300 Mbps would work, but if it takes a while, love to hear anyone's experience with the alternatives to VIYA.  Just to clarify, it would be for service in the Cruz Bay area.

Thanks guys!  Enjoyed your responses! 😀

Mark

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Topic starter Posted : September 8, 2020 10:58 pm
Ca. Dreamers
(@ca-dreamers)
Advanced Member

Don't cry about the internet service in the VI's! We lived there for 7 years through the storms and all. Lost power from 9/18/17 till 12/24/17, through all that we had BBVI restored not long after the storms, with in 3 weeks. Anyway we have moved to Central Florida to seek access to specific health care and were absolutely dumbfounded when we got here and were faced with "CentryLink" 3 mbps down and 1 mbps up! And they are the only game in my area. I'd take BBVI in a heartbeat if I could get it. 

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Posted : September 9, 2020 11:39 am
Stxdreaming1
(@stxdreaming1)
Advanced Member

Interesting article about Starlink. Good to have more options in the VI...and better speeds once they fully get going.

LINK

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Posted : October 27, 2020 9:57 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert
Posted by: @stxdreaming1

Interesting article about Starlink. Good to have more options in the VI...and better speeds once they fully get going.

LINK

I look forward to being a subscriber once its available here. I'm sure it will have a major financial impact on BBVI and VIYA. Maybe they'll step up their service and lower pricing to compete.

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Posted : October 28, 2020 8:05 am
Alana33 liked
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member

5G cellular internet could improve speeds in VI within one year or so. It will be expensive at 10$ per Gigabyte but definitely faster than local broadband. I pay Vaya $80 for 18Mps but get only 10 to 12 while in my house in Europe for $15 get reliable 300 Mps fiberoptic.  I think VI government has access to fastest service on the island through fiberoptic node. After all we are sitting ontop of transatlantic cable but have a serious last mile problem. 

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Posted : October 28, 2020 8:51 am
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member
Posted by: @STTsailor

5G cellular internet could improve speeds in VI within one year or so. It will be expensive at 10$ per Gigabyte

Yikes, $10 per Gigabyte, that’s ironic.  If you’re familiar with the inner workings of the electronics industry, the entire point behind 5G was that it lowers the cost of data transmission, intended to further enable the digital world.  The other thing to remember is the wireless part of a cellphone network is only a small part of the overall system that must be supported by a robust landline grid to the outside world, so your 5G performance will be constrained by the weakest link in the data chain.

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Posted : November 8, 2020 7:38 am
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

There is some access to fiber optic internet in the VI but direct access is very limited for some businesses, schools, hospitals and govt agencies. That final mile is the hardest in the VI. There is fiber optic reaching St. John according to a recent VI Next Generation Network below.

https://vingn.wordpress.com/2020/10/10/vingn-wi-fi-expansion/?fbclid=IwAR3J4KFADbaOnmP_4hYRA8f2f05znXtQmQ_6WVTTA4MlTYOgzbkZQepIDew

Since you're not specific about the scope of your needs, you might try calling VI Next Generation Network that oversees the middle mile and/or its partners to see if they might help. 

https://vingn.com/isp-partners/

340-715-8581

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Posted : November 8, 2020 1:44 pm
simpub
(@simpub)
Advanced Member

@gators_mom Hey!  Awesome info!  You rock!  Thanks for sharing this.  This is great info!

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Topic starter Posted : November 13, 2020 3:32 pm
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member
Posted by: @jaldeborgh
Posted by: @STTsailor

5G cellular internet could improve speeds in VI within one year or so. It will be expensive at 10$ per Gigabyte

Yikes, $10 per Gigabyte, that’s ironic.  If you’re familiar with the inner workings of the electronics industry, the entire point behind 5G was that it lowers the cost of data transmission, intended to further enable the digital world.  The other thing to remember is the wireless part of a cellphone network is only a small part of the overall system that must be supported by a robust landline grid to the outside world, so your 5G performance will be constrained by the weakest link in the data chain.

5G lowers the cost of transmission for sure but $10 per Gig can easily be charged to retail consumer. Just look at SMS text messaging. It really costs nothing to cell companies as an add on service to voice cellular yet we all pay $10 monthly fee for unlimited text. It is additional revenue stream to telecoms and profit margin is astronomical. Multiply $10 by 300 million accounts for cool $3B profit. 

This is particularly evident in US markets where there is little competition between telecoms. I spend $80 a month for in US for lowest tear data/text/phone pay as you go service while the same service in EU costs me $15. 

Here lies the answer why we are all poorer today than 50 years ago. Between cell, cable, and broadband average family spends $500 or more. 

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Posted : November 14, 2020 12:23 pm
Stxdreaming1
(@stxdreaming1)
Advanced Member

@STTsailor

There is absolutely no reason to be paying for SMS with any carrier that is charging when you have Signal messengr, Telegram messenger, WhatsApp etc...if you are, cancel right away and move to one of the above mentioned apps.

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Posted : November 14, 2020 1:03 pm
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member

CC doesn't charge for unlimited text messaging and basic plan is $17.50/month, $20 for unlimited talk and text.

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Posted : November 14, 2020 8:24 pm
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member

What is CC?  Does it cover STT and mainland without roaming? 

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Posted : November 18, 2020 7:09 am
rewired
(@rewired)
Advanced Member

@STTsailor

I believe they're referring to Consumer Cellular

https://www.consumercellular.com/

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Posted : November 18, 2020 9:41 am
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member
Posted by: @rewired

@STTsailor

I believe they're referring to Consumer Cellular

https://www.consumercellular.com/

No coverage in VI. 

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Posted : November 18, 2020 10:03 am
STTsailor
(@STTsailor)
Trusted Member
Posted by: @stxdreaming1

@STTsailor

There is absolutely no reason to be paying for SMS with any carrier that is charging when you have Signal messengr, Telegram messenger, WhatsApp etc...if you are, cancel right away and move to one of the above mentioned apps.

Here is the rub. Voice phones became useless as a communication tool thanks to phone marketing people do not answer phones unless the know who is calling. I know I don’t. If you are not in my database of contacts you are welcome to leave a voicemail. So text message is necessary evil before having conversation with a stranger. Whatsup and the like are great tools and I use them all the time but they are not uniformly available to everyone. Hence text is imperative to have. 

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Posted : November 18, 2020 10:09 am
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member
Posted by: @STTsailor
Posted by: @rewired

@STTsailor

I believe they're referring to Consumer Cellular

https://www.consumercellular.com/

No coverage in VI. 

That is not correct.  I have CC and I have coverage in the VI, it shows as CC service on the phone when connected and works the same as in the states, no roaming charges in states or VI.  They use the AT&T, now Liberty cell towers in the VI.  I have the account billed to my stateside address, don't know if they would have any issue with setting up an account with VI address.

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Posted : November 18, 2020 9:53 pm
rewired
(@rewired)
Advanced Member

Story yesterday in the St Croix Source that BBVI has been given preliminary approval for an $84M grant to improve service speed in the VI

https://stcroixsource.com/2020/11/17/fcc-tentatively-awards-broadband-vi-up-to-84-million-for-faster-broadband/

No indication how long it will take to be implemented or what the cost will be to customers, but may be higher speeds on the horizon...

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Posted : November 18, 2020 11:11 pm
Stxdreaming1
(@stxdreaming1)
Advanced Member

@rewired

What a total waste of money considering Starlink is coming online soon. Really don't understand this...unless someone is getting a kickback somewhere.

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Posted : November 19, 2020 9:57 am
rewired
(@rewired)
Advanced Member

I think it's been in the works for a while (since hurricanes in 2017)...

Maybe StarLink will provide the competition to keep prices on higher speed in check...

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Posted : November 19, 2020 10:51 am
Stxdreaming1
(@stxdreaming1)
Advanced Member

@rewired

 It's also worth noting that Starlink is not the only player entering the market, isn't Amazon as well?

Based on that alone, think what $84 million could do for the VI if put to other areas.

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Posted : November 19, 2020 7:01 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

There are actually several space based, low earth orbit broadband initiatives in the works besides Starlink:

Amazon's Project Kuiper

OneWeb

Telesat

LeoSat

I hope to be able to use at least one of them before I leave the VI.

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Posted : November 20, 2020 8:07 am
Stxdreaming1
(@stxdreaming1)
Advanced Member

Starlink is now taking pre orders in the US, Canad and UK.

I typed in our address in STX and got this message;

Starlink is targeting coverage in your area in 2022. Availability is limited. Orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis.

People should sign up now and get infront of the waiting list.

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Posted : February 9, 2021 3:10 pm
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