Innovative HFC - re...
 
Notifications
Clear all

Innovative HFC - real connection speed  

 

Scubamom
(@Scubamom)
Active Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 14
May 20, 2016 1:07 pm  

Good morning all,

First - thank you to everyone for your time and information. This forum has been an invaluable resource.

My family is nearing the final stages of a move. I am a software developer and I need to connect to systems stateside from St. Croix. I understand that "Innovative" advertises a 50 mBps connection, but typically those ads are for "speeds up to ..." and rarely are the speeds attained in the real world.

I am hoping that there is someone out there that has this Hybrid Fiber Coax 50 Mbps service (this is the top tier of Innovative's service - about $150/month) and might be able to tell me:

a) What are your actual down/upload speeds when connecting to servers on the continental US ?

b) How reliable is the connection ? (i.e. is there much down time ?)

We are working on our send "pre-move" trip but if I can get a better idea of what is the actual situation with regard to connection it may save us that trip - or at least allow me to be better prepared.

Lastly, if there is any tech person out there that connects to servers on the main land, I would LOVE to speak with you via a SKYPE or phone call. I would be more than happy to purchase you the beverage(s) of your choosing on our next trip down !

Thank you again - really appreciate any thoughts/comments.

Bob

p.s. I am posting via my wife's account as I have yet to get the log on info. In case you wondering about "Scubamom" - I guess I will be ScubaDad. 🙂


Quote
LiquidFluoride
(@LiquidFluoride)
Trusted Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1937
May 20, 2016 1:59 pm  

I have the 25m connection, it's pretty stable (though my specific location has some signal issues that they are having difficulty resolving; nothing terrible) I've always gotten right around the advertised speed no matter what time of day it is... Internet seems pretty reliable down here, I wouldn't sweat that TOO much.

50Mbps is a bit much isnt it? what's the advertised upload speed? I think mine is only 2Mbps, if your uploading big files that would be more of a concern I would guess.

I'm a tech guy and connect to state side servers at work, but we have a DS3 so it's not quite the same (don't work from home..).

This island holds the global crossing cables (the undersea cables from N.america to S.america) we probably have more bandwidth on this island than NewYork city.... not that there's a lot of consumer access, but it's here.


ReplyQuote
Scubamom
(@Scubamom)
Active Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 14
May 20, 2016 2:29 pm  

LiquidFlouride - Thanks very much !!!!!!

Just a bit more information about my situation is that my day to day operation depends entirely on my connection to the world wide web, so this is of critical concern. Clearly, before moving, I will do a connection test myself from the island to one of our facilities, but just trying to get all the advance information I can.

I am in Chicago, and from the OOKLA speed test, I have about 65 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up connecting to the Innovative server on St. Croix. I am more interested in the up load speed as we send large files as well as connecting to systems for debugging and video conferencing.

Innovative does not advertise an upload speed, I will put in another call to them & see what they can tell me.

One of my contacts on the island utilizes a fiber connection from another provider - which has been proven reliable for heavy usage and video conference applications. Unfortunately, the fiber connection is extremely limited on island and I am looking to continue to utilize a home office. From my research it appears that the Innovative HFC is going to be the best option, so just working on getting as much info as I can.

Thanks again - REALLY appreciate your time to respond !!!

Best regards,

Bob


ReplyQuote
quirion
(@quirion)
Advanced Member
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 427
May 20, 2016 2:47 pm  

I recently moved to innovative as well for more reliability and for the last 2 months it has been. I was at 12Mb and moved to 18Mb to get 2Mb upload(instead of 1 with 12 or 6).
When i talked to them they weren't really sure which plans had which uploads.
Actually gave me faulty information.

I do know they advertise a game plan currently thats 18 down and 5 up with a static ip so you could probably work something out.

My speeds have been very consistent. An occasional issue with spotty service that clears up relatively fast but no actual down time so far.

With BBVI i had many issues with service dropping down well below advertised.

I rely on the internet for software development as well so i actually have the lowest cost BBVI as a backup.


ReplyQuote
LiquidFluoride
(@LiquidFluoride)
Trusted Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1937
May 20, 2016 2:47 pm  

One of my contacts on the island utilizes a fiber connection from another provider - which has been proven reliable for heavy usage and video conference applications. Unfortunately, the fiber connection is extremely limited on island and I am looking to continue to utilize a home office.

It's only limited due to ineptness and mismanagement.. I've never seen a place as small as this with as much fiber as there is... there's two completely independant rings of fiber that run around this entire, one placed by Innovative & one placed by the NGN ("next generation network" federal program) initiative. If you want to pay the money to have the "last mile" run to your house you could access to insane fiber speeds... I've seen a few price lists and it's very impressive.

From my research it appears that the Innovative HFC is going to be the best option, so just working on getting as much info as I can.

Thanks again - REALLY appreciate your time to respond !!!

Best regards,

Bob

yeah, but it says hybrid fiber/cable & I'm betting the availability of that is pretty limited.. they DO have fiber all around this island, but I've yet to see them take it from the street to a house.

I'd start looking at the 25Mbps package as it's *more* widely available, yet still is not in all areas.

If you are really concerned you could get the Cable based Innovative package and a WIMAX based BBVI package for dual link redundancy (plus load balancing isn't too hard to set up, that would help with your upload issues).


ReplyQuote
Scubamom
(@Scubamom)
Active Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 14
May 20, 2016 3:17 pm  

quirion - Thanks for the information !! I did see the 18/6 "gamer" deal - I will inquire about that on my call to Innovative. Great to hear of your experiences.

LiquidFloride - Wow, awesome info ! It sounds to me as if there was a big push to get fiber/high speed connections on island then maybe it just fizzled. (Could it be a government plan that lost momentum/never was followed up ?) That never happens ! 🙂

Thank you both for the ideas - really like the idea of having two services and load balancing. Didn't even think of that.

The biggest challenge is not knowing the ins and outs of where there is service and where there is not as LiquidFloride points out. I get that it is the Caribbean and I understand and appreciate "Island Time" - however if I can't make a dollar I am not going to be able to stay there very long !

Thanks again for all of the comments !! I will continue to do some research and may pop on with more questions !

All the best,

Bob

If the move happens, we'll rent a house for 6 - 12 months & by that time hopefully sort out what services are where. Just sort of sucks that it appears that we'll have to be limited on location due to the availability of service.


ReplyQuote
LiquidFluoride
(@LiquidFluoride)
Trusted Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1937
May 20, 2016 3:33 pm  

If the move happens, we'll rent a house for 6 - 12 months & by that time hopefully sort out what services are where. Just sort of sucks that it appears that we'll have to be limited on location due to the availability of service.

For clarification:

you'll probably be limited to areas that you'd want to live in anyway... unless your an adventurous type that wants to live in some strange place the majority of places are covered by something, the island is only 28mi x 7mi or something... haha

I know some graphic artists that work from my neighborhood with no issues...

Just wait until you get into the " where to live: West vs East" debate, that's fun!


ReplyQuote
PsychedChicken
(@PsychedChicken)
Active Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7
May 20, 2016 3:47 pm  

I found my thread!

I am moving in August and this is incredibly helpful information.
All my work is done through VM ware and Cisco VOIP phone. Solid internet connection is crucial. I have been doing research on who is most reliable, I'm quite glad I found this thread!

I wont get an opportunity to test squat before I up and move. So this is incredibly helpful. If you find any crucial information - I'm subscribing to this thread and would appreciate you passing it along. THANKS!


ReplyQuote
Scubamom
(@Scubamom)
Active Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 14
May 20, 2016 4:01 pm  

LiquidFloride - Ha. Thanks ! On our last trip we stayed on the North end and fell in love with the hills and seclusion. If I could pick a spot, that would be it !

PyschedChicken - I will gladly share all of my results and findings ... would be the least that I can do to payback any of the help I already received and if it can help you, then that is great.

Cheers all !!

Best regards,

Bob


ReplyQuote
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Expert
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 12282
May 20, 2016 6:42 pm  

Welcome and good luck with the move and life in de tropics.


ReplyQuote
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1914
May 20, 2016 7:09 pm  

LiquidFloride - Ha. Thanks ! On our last trip we stayed on the North end and fell in love with the hills and seclusion. If I could pick a spot, that would be it !

PyschedChicken - I will gladly share all of my results and findings ... would be the least that I can do to payback any of the help I already received and if it can help you, then that is great.

Cheers all !!

Best regards,

Bob

North Shore Rocks!
My second choice would be West End.
With BBVI we consistently get about 8 down and 2 up. Usually higher download and 2 up is pretty consistent. We're not connecting to "servers" or doing web design from home but we do run our business with it and have not had problems.

The issues I have with Innovative is they use the EVO box to bring in phone, cable, and internet through one coax. (It's not available in all areas.) Being a Dish Retailer here for about 15 years we hear the horror stories from Innovative customers.

The next issue is Customer Service. Innovative has never been considered very good at that.

My own recent experience with Innovative made us cut all ties. We already had Dish TV and BBVI. We were only using Innovative for a land line. They forced us to convert to EVO or lose our line.

It went like this.
The lineman showed up and strung a new RG6 from the pole to my pole. Checked signal and said it was good. -14db. Two weeks later the installer shows up and says the signal is not good. -2db. I asked how the signal could drop in two weeks. He shrugged and said he would send a supervisor. The Supervisor showed up and instructed the linemen to replace the RG6 with RG11. RG11 is as big as my finger!!! They checked signal again and said it was OK. They didn't give me the value though. He then said he was going to, "drop off in my driveway" a spool of RG11 and that I would have to route it to the house. It's about 200 ft of underground 3/4 conduit to my distribution panel. At that point I told them to just forget it. They were charging me $80 a month for phone PLUS long distance. We immediately looked into ATT "Home Phone" We were able to keep our number and it added $20 to our cell bill.

I have been hearing from some people that are getting good internet service from Innovative but looking at how their cables are all tangled in the trees, I wonder what will happen after a little storm. Our Innovative phone would go out frequently on the old system after just a little rain. Static on the line etc....

Having a back up is always a good idea if you absolutely depend on your connection. Also it's just another tax write off......


ReplyQuote
LiquidFluoride
(@LiquidFluoride)
Trusted Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 1937
May 20, 2016 11:00 pm  

I have been hearing from some people that are getting good internet service from Innovative but looking at how their cables are all tangled in the trees, I wonder what will happen after a little storm.

I used to totally agree with you, but over the last 3 years stuff has changed (I think even ownership...) I can't hate on innovative too much, their customer service is still par for the island (bad) but not terrible; the techs that have came to my house and worked on my set up have been very cool, but I'm out west, everything's cool out west 😉 (shameless regionalism plug)


ReplyQuote
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 6523
May 20, 2016 11:38 pm  

ATN's purchase of Innovative is a done deal. and the transfer is in progress.

http://ir.atni.com/releasedetail.cfm?releaseid=934676

I never had a major problem with customer service but must say that in the last couple of months the response has been amazing. I twice had a problem paying online and, rather than calling, emailed from their website. A response came within 15 minutes, I was given a direct telephone line to the rep who responded and everything was handled beautifully. A few hours later I received another personal email from the rep checking to see if there was anything else I needed help with. Nice.


ReplyQuote
Scubamom
(@Scubamom)
Active Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 14
May 20, 2016 11:48 pm  

Hi all - thanks to everyone for their comments and insight !

I spoke to Innovative today. The first person told me that the top teir (50 Mbps down) is available EVERYWHERE on St. Croix. Being the skeptic that I am, I phoned back and spoke to someone who actually looked at a list of regions and told me what was actually ready for the top teir service. Surprisingly, it seemed that most of the island is set. (Of course my knowledge of all the "suburbs" is not that great, but from what I was told, it seems like most areas are covered.)

So again, the skeptic in me rises up to the top and leads me to this question for the group: does anyone actually HAVE the top teir Innovative service ? (And what are the actual speeds like ?)

It looks as if I may have to make a leap of faith as my wife has postponed acceptance of the job offer pending the findings on connectivity and the employer is interviewing others.

My wife looks to be heading down early next week to check out some houses and do some testing for me.

Any comment welcomed and appreciated - would really like to know if anyone has the top teir Innovative services. Thanks again to all !!!!

Bob


ReplyQuote
Ericw
(@Ericw)
Advanced Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 277
May 22, 2016 3:57 am  

I have the $149 50 mb plan through innovative which I just got last month. I am on St John so we have been the last to covert over to the new fiber network, and it is still not available to all areas of the island yet. I was leery at first that I would even get anywhere near the advertised speeds, but the CS reps (all very nice ladies) ensured me it was available at my address and if I didn't like it I could cancel at any time. It only took the phone call and my service as activated within minutes and I have been getting a reliable 50-52 mb down and 8-9 mb up at all hours of the day. I had BBVI before for two years and I was getting more frequently frustrated with them with speeds dropping to under 5mb (on the $99 plan) and to sometimes non existent at night. I kept BBVI for now as a back up service since they are wimax vs innovative's "wire on the pole" until we get through hurricane season.


ReplyQuote
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member
Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 2338
May 22, 2016 4:31 am  

HOA has just told us BBVI will be running fiber directly into our condo buildings and removing the antenna receivers. Apparently one of the buildings was never able to get a good signal on the antenna. And no increase in cost. So we'll see what sort of improvement we get.


ReplyQuote
Scubamom
(@Scubamom)
Active Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 14
May 22, 2016 10:42 am  

Thanks Ericw and Scubadoo. My wife is on her way to STX now mainly to do a connection test from our realtor's office.

Great to know that Innovatve top teir service delivers the goods. (Sneaky Rob Halford reference !). Still need to make sure connections to my specific servers can work.

I will post results of my tests.

Thanks again to all !!!!

Bob


ReplyQuote
Scubamom
(@Scubamom)
Active Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 14
May 25, 2016 2:25 pm  

Good morning all,

This is really for PyschedChicken. My wife was on STX this week, I sent her with a laptop and our realtor let us use their office and network to do a test.

I logged on to the computer with no problem (using "Teamviewer" and another proprietary remote desktop controller) and that worked flawlessly. The realtor has a bundle package from INNOVATIVE - they are paying for 12 down & 2 up and based upon the Ookla speed test, that is what they seemed to be getting connecting to Comcast servers here in Chicago.

I also did a test using "LAN Speed Test" and loading a file to my server here. (Essentially this software just measures the time it takes to load a specific file.) It was a bit slower than my connections from stateside, but it was acceptable.

My final test was to log into my VPN at my office here and move files back and fourth. This worked very well, albeit slow. What I mean is that I did not experience any failures or packet loss (that I am aware of) but it was slow which was expected due to the slow speeds that the office was paying for.

I heard back from Innovative that the top tier package is 50Mbps down and 8 Mbps up. That is sufficient for my day to day operations and based upon what I saw on this trip and the great feedback you folks have given, I expect that this service would work for my needs. Unfortunately we were not able to find any place to do this test on this top speed service.

We decided, after much deliberation, that the cost of the move/school for kids, along with the accessibility of the island, my business, and our current situation that we are going to post pone our relocation. (As if it was a signal from up high, the power went out at my wife's hotel for a few hours the morning after we made the call to decline the move !).

We took it as far as we could and looked at it from all vantage points, so it is a bummer, but I am sure it is the right decision.

Thanks again to everyone for their time and thoughts - we will for sure be back to visit the island ... lots !!!

Best regards.

Bob


ReplyQuote
PsychedChicken
(@PsychedChicken)
Active Member
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 7
May 25, 2016 2:34 pm  

Thanks Bob! This is actually very helpful information.


ReplyQuote
Close Menu