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asilber
(@asilber)
Advanced Member

Can anyone tell me what our land line phone service options are here on St John?

Thanks,
Adam

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Topic starter Posted : September 25, 2013 5:02 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Innovative is the sole provider. If you're in a rental property where there's already an installed working jack or jacks getting service is simple - takes a little bit longer if wires need to be run. You should go to Innovative's office on St John in Market Place where you'll be given all the information you need.

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Posted : September 25, 2013 5:07 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

Innovative is currently converting all land line phones to their cable wire system -- there will no longer be a separate phone line available and they are no longer installing 2 wires [cable and phone] to a house. It now requires having a 'black box' that is powered by WAPA. I complained bitterly when they came to change my phone line last month and mainly because with the old system my phone could work if there was no power and now that is not true.

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Posted : September 25, 2013 5:17 pm
beachy
(@beachy)
Trusted Member

oh, no!! Do we at least get a battery pack that keeps the phone going for as long as the battery charge lasts? This was really the only reason we kept the innovative phone...since ours generally worked during storms etc.

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Posted : September 25, 2013 5:53 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Innovative is currently converting all land line phones to their cable wire system -- there will no longer be a separate phone line available and they are no longer installing 2 wires [cable and phone] to a house. It now requires having a 'black box' that is powered by WAPA. I complained bitterly when they came to change my phone line last month and mainly because with the old system my phone could work if there was no power and now that is not true.

I had no idea. That totally stinks. I have a 'phone with an answering machine which of course goes out when power outages strike but have always kept a simple little 'phone tucked away so that when the power goes out I can plug that in and still have telephone access. I wasn't even watching when they installed the new box and had no idea this was one of the new "features". You have SO not made my day, EZ!!!!

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Posted : September 25, 2013 5:54 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

You have to believe I was absolutely opposed to having this happen when they came to my house - the repair team was from PR and said they have a 2 year contract to work here changing every phone, a different team has to come and run a cable line if you do not have one but Innovative wants it all on one wire, with the fiber optic lines they have run everywhere they do not want to maintain 2 separate wires on the poles everywhere and at the residence. I tried working my way up the chain on the phone with Mgmt. and was constantly told - that everyone has a cell phone if the power goes out, what's the problem?
The team at my house was very professional and polite - they even put in an extra battery, [it only comes with 1,] in my 'black box' so it supposedly would last 24 hrs.
The cable line does supply TV, EVO internet at various speeds and prices and phone and when I have called tech support they are able to read, program and adjust my black box remotely while we are on the line. The change is similiar to what is happening everywhere in the States with Verizon FIOS, Comcast and ATT all switching to only one wire.

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Posted : September 25, 2013 6:42 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

I just checked my black box and it has NO batteries in it. I guess I can call them and ask but I don't see anything to indicate what size batteries to use - any idea? I am so technologically challenged it's pathetic. When I have to change batteries in anything I have to carefully remove them and strategically place them so I know which end up and in what order the replacements go ...

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Posted : September 25, 2013 7:10 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

There are 2 bays on the bottom - this is the black box with all the green and yellow lights vertically - Digital Voice Modem - not your cable TV box I would think they are Ni-Cad batteries similiar to the ones used in small portable hand tools, drills etc..

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Posted : September 25, 2013 7:13 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

I got the hatch open with no problem and see there is actually a battery in there - a flat black thing - and space for a second battery. I guess I'll call them tomorrow to see what would be the benefit (if anything) of installing a second battery.

I guess the next thing to do is go down there again with the cheapie cellphone I bought from them and find out how to use it. A friend finally unlocked it for me the other day but even he couldn't get it to get my landline number to ring. He works for Innovative but is as technically challenged as I ...

Good grief.

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Posted : September 25, 2013 7:55 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

WAY too much technical crap (sorry!) Keep it simple.
You all already know how technically challenged I am so do not need to be more so for a stupid phone!
I normally keep a plug in to jack phone for when power goes out and don't want to run generator.
Am I still going to be able to do that?

Just wait until we have a giant solar flares that fries every computer and electronic gizmo on the planet!
Good Grief.

Unfortunately - Innovative is your only option for a landline.

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Posted : September 25, 2013 8:50 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

I normally keep a plug in to jack phone for when power goes out and don't want to run generator.
Am I still going to be able to do that?

Apparently not. I use Innovative DSL and already have the modem but didn't realize until EZ's post that when they put the new one in the phone was also switched into it and apparently this is going to happen to all landlines. Power out, landline out.

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Posted : September 25, 2013 9:29 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Well gee! That makes so much sense on a tropical island subject to regular power outages in good weather which can turn into months long outages in a direct hurricane hit. After Marilyn, I had NO phone service from Sept. 15th to the following April. Being without for 7-8 month was such a thrill! (not!(td)

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Posted : September 25, 2013 9:36 pm
beachy
(@beachy)
Trusted Member

We still have a stateside home, and have Verizon Fios there, with the fiber optic phone line. The battery supposedly keeps the phone working for 8 hours. We rarely have any power issues, but the battery dies anyway after a couple years. A new one is between $20 and $30, and Verizon does not supply it, though they will sell it to you. After Sandy, we had no electric for a month or so, so no phone either. And Cell phones didn't work well for a long while. Since the storm, we have had to have V. out 5 times to service either the phone or the cable, though never had issues before.
I called Innovative this afternoon and asked about this phone thing, and was told all the phones would be this way eventually. I asked the CS rep if it made sense to her, to install a system dependent on constant current from WAPA...she just hummed...told her the nicest thing I could say about it was STUPID. Pointed out the reason we've always kept a landline was because it WAS a landline. Not her decision though, so no point in giving her grief.
Thinking about it more, we think batteries have a shorter lifespan in the VI, which we attribute to the climate...just like it shortens the lifespan of plastic etc...so how often might we have to replace these backup batteries? Gets better all the time.

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Posted : September 25, 2013 9:48 pm
billd
(@billd)
Trusted Member

Think about it. It is less that they need to maintain. This is the direction that all the suppliers are going in the main land. Of course Innovative will tell this is better and there is more speed available. Just watch when the stop the old telephone line connection and leave a bunch of people withour service.

Such is the case when you only have one supplier. Go get a cell, get dish and DUMP INNOVATIVE!

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Posted : September 26, 2013 12:08 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Think about it. It is less that they need to maintain. This is the direction that all the suppliers are going in the main land. Of course Innovative will tell this is better and there is more speed available. Just watch when the stop the old telephone line connection and leave a bunch of people withour service.

Such is the case when you only have one supplier. Go get a cell, get dish and DUMP INNOVATIVE!

Let's not get carried away. The plan is that when all the cable/DSL customers have been switched over to the new modem, the telephone-only customers will then be gradually switched over and nobody's suddenly going to be left hanging with no landline at the arbitrary flick of a switch. Whatever the complaints about Innovative, the job they've done so far with this huge renovation has been done in a timely fashion and on schedule, efficiently and effectively.

If Prosser were still at the helm siphoning off millions there would probably be very few working landlines left by now with no alternative other than cellphones ....

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Posted : September 26, 2013 10:49 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

It amazes me that people would still want or need a land line in this day and age, or would want to have anything to do with Innovative. In the four years since we cut the cord, I've never once said, gee, I wish I still had a land line. Maybe its just me.

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Posted : September 26, 2013 12:14 pm
Beeski
(@beeski)
Trusted Member

If Prosser were still at the helm siphoning off millions there would probably be very few working landlines left by now with no alternative other than cellphones ....

There are plenty of alternatives:
a) AT&T wireless home phone, $20/month, allows you to port your old Innovative number
http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/devices/att/wireless-home-phone-silver.html

b) Magic Jack, Skype, Vonage, SunFone (local VI numbers) voip service

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Posted : September 26, 2013 12:52 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

There are plenty of alternatives:
a) AT&T wireless home phone, $20/month, allows you to port your old Innovative number
http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/devices/att/wireless-home-phone-silver.html

b) Magic Jack, Skype, Vonage, SunFone (local VI numbers) voip service

Still need an electrical outlet though, right? It says that on the page you linked. Not once during two major hurricanes, numerous small ones and countless WAPA outages have I lost my landline so it's a bit of a blow in that respect. Hopefully the cellphone signal ability will continue to improve but I like the ability of people being able to find me through the 'phone book. Obviously I'm being dragged into the 21st century with some whimpers and moans ...

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Posted : September 26, 2013 2:19 pm
islandjoan
(@islandjoan)
Trusted Member

YES! re. Alana's post:
Just wait until we have a giant solar flares that fries every computer and electronic gizmo on the planet!
Good Grief.

A massive Coronal Mass Ejection, most likely in our lifetime, will bring civilization as we know it crashing down for months if not years.
It happened in the late 1800's (Canada and Northern US I believe) and it will happen again!

Of course, I don't want it to happen, but it most likely will....

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Posted : September 26, 2013 5:43 pm
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert

ELECTRO MAGNETIC PULSE -I HAVE READ A LOT OF FICTION BOOKS ON THIS SUBJECT AND I HOPE IT NEVER ACTUALLY HAPPENS COULD BE SCARY

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Posted : September 26, 2013 7:42 pm
asilber
(@asilber)
Advanced Member

Thanks to all for the info as I have realized that since I have 14 new units on island that I have to put landlines in my only option is Innovative. Thanks to all for the help and info and we are very excited to have this project here on St John and there will be a press release soon concerning the project so be on the lookout.

Regards,
Adam

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Topic starter Posted : September 26, 2013 8:19 pm
piaa
 piaa
(@piaa)
Trusted Member

Old Pond Bay maybe ? Interested to hear what project

Pia

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Posted : September 26, 2013 9:45 pm
piaa
 piaa
(@piaa)
Trusted Member

Changing it to Sirenusa

Pia

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Posted : September 27, 2013 3:09 am
sloop jones
(@sloop_jones)
Advanced Member

two comments.
if you are worried about losing the land line when WAPA goes down ,
install a generator.
or go to the beach.

Nice of Innovative to bring over a PR company to do the work...
It never occurred to them to hire from within the USVI?

Sloop

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Posted : September 27, 2013 9:59 am
fdr
 fdr
(@fdr)
Trusted Member

Changing it to Sirenusa

Pia

Indeed: http://www.on-stjohn.com/2013/09/27/sirenusa-acquired-by-ny-investment-firm/

"Catalus bought a total of 14 units as part of the deal."

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Posted : September 27, 2013 10:19 am
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