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New black boxes being built?

 
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Does anyone have the scoop on the small buildings/boxes that are being built around St Thomas? There is one across from Sugar Estate post office, one across from the bridge to nowhere at the T in Nadir, I think I saw one in Red Hook... I heard possibly switching stations for the VI Next Generation system??

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Topic starter Posted : July 21, 2013 12:33 pm
Jim Dandy
(@jim_dandy)
Trusted Member

If it is the same as the small building they built at Cotton Valley on STX the black material is what they use to form up the building. They then fill the forms with reinforced concrete.

When they are done they have a reinforced building for a fiber optic hub.

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Posted : July 21, 2013 7:00 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

So it is Next Generation?

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Topic starter Posted : July 21, 2013 7:43 pm
Ronnie
(@ronnie)
Trusted Member

Yes

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Posted : July 21, 2013 11:59 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

Reinforced hub buildings and fiber wire hung on poles through the trees. Hmmm.

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Posted : July 22, 2013 12:32 am
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Reinforced hub buildings and fiber wire hung on poles through the trees. Hmmm.

Why the "Hmmm"?

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Posted : July 22, 2013 11:02 am
Beeski
(@beeski)
Trusted Member

Reinforced hub buildings and fiber wire hung on poles through the trees. Hmmm.

Why the "Hmmm"?

ST. THOMAS, Virgin Islands--(BUSINESS WIRE)--October 5, 1995--Atlantic Tele-Network (NASDAQ:ATNI) said today that it will cost an estimated $30 million to $50 million to repair and replace the Virgin Islands Telephone Corp.(Vitelco) facilities damaged by Hurricane Marilyn.

On Sept. 15, 1995, the day Hurricane Marilyn struck the U.S. Virgin Islands, Vitelco had approximately 60,000 telephone lines in operation.

Currently, about 90 percent of St. Thomas subscribers are without service; 50 percent of those on St. John; and 30 percent of those on St. Croix.

Vitelco expects to restore service quickly to St. Croix and St. John subscribers, but does not have a specific schedule. Restoration of St. Thomas service will take longer because of the quantity of lines that need to be replaced.

About 75 percent to 90 percent of Vitelco's St. Thomas outside plant, and about 15 percent of its outside plant on St. John and St. Croix was damaged or destroyed.
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/assessments/pdfs/marilyn.pdf
Most of the damage to the U.S. Virgin Islands was the result of wind except for the storm
surge along the immediate coast. This included 21,000 homes damaged or destroyed,
5,800 utility poles damaged, desalinization plant on St. Thomas inoperative, and repair of
two sewage treatment plants required

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Posted : July 22, 2013 11:46 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

You'd think after all these years and previous experience with hurricanes that Innovative would get it. But...apparently not.

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Posted : July 22, 2013 12:05 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

Beeski nailed it. Burying the fiber trunks along the roads, great, but every fiber hung to a house travels on WAPA poles - and fiber isnt exactly durable. That's going to be a lot of people, time, and effort to get people going again after a storm. At least fiber is spliceable now.

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Posted : July 22, 2013 12:37 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Beeski nailed it. Burying the fiber trunks along the roads, great, but every fiber hung to a house travels on WAPA poles - and fiber isnt exactly durable. That's going to be a lot of people, time, and effort to get people going again after a storm. At least fiber is spliceable now.

Burying lines is a very expensive proposition here when you have solid volcanic rock right beneath a very small layer of topsoil. Burying lines here isn't even remotely possible in all areas, particularly on STT and STJ where the mountainous terrain and isolated residences are the norm. Buried lines only complicate relief efforts in the event of a major hurricane such as we experienced in 1989 and 1995. Crews from all over the US came to assist in the repair efforts and did a great job but if they'd had to deal with underground repairs rather than overhead repairs it would have been way more complicated. Oh, and we do have earthquakes just about every day, and continual subterranean shifts tend to be a little disruptive. Just about every masonry building erected here develops cracks after a while, regardless of the grade of the composite ...

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Posted : July 22, 2013 1:26 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

Correct, OldTart, which is why we use the wireless broadband.

Fiber isn't the be-all end-all for home connections, especially if you're a typical household user. We intentionally chose wireless broadband for several reasons, one being that it recovers much more quickly after a major storm, and our business depends upon it. Speed alone cannot be the only consideration.

FWIW, my husband's business is partly around large fiber network installations, but in the States, not the VI. He and I are both watching what Innovative is doing here and how they're doing it. It will be interesting to see how it plays out for the home user, but my opinion is people are expecting a bit more than they will receive as a pure data source. Now Innovative may expand their offerings and services which may make it more interesting after a while, but again, if your smart house and security system and everything in the "internet of things" is attached to the internet via a wire hanging on a pole? That's a transitory system, and isn't going to serve when a person just might need it the most.

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Posted : July 22, 2013 1:38 pm
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

And if you want to see a real Zombie Apocalypse, wait until after everyone that's dependent upon the internet for everything loses it for a week or more - not just here, but in the States too. Human beings are becoming dependent upon a false sense of security and reality, but that's a conversation to take under the coconut tree, ha ha!

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Posted : July 22, 2013 1:41 pm
gonetropo
(@gonetropo)
Advanced Member

You'd think after all these years and previous experience with hurricanes that Innovative would get it. But...apparently not.

Seriously, we have hurricances and wind damge in the islands! Innovative and WAPA must not be aware of this through there exhaustive analysis.

We just had all nice new wood poles installed in our area and 1, count em, 1 wire is on them which must be the new EVO line.
All the existing phone lines, cable and electric service is still on the old poles. Not sure if they are going to move the service or not?

One would at least think that they would start installing concrete poles if they must continue to use overhead service.

We lived down island for a number of years and all of our poles were concrete.

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Posted : July 22, 2013 3:30 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

Its also hard to imagine who all these new EVO customers are going to come from. After being jerked around over and over with crappy landline service, crappy internet service, crappy cable service, crappy customer service and just general crap from Innovative, I would NEVER subscribe to anything they offer.

Broadband VI and DISH TV are the only way to go.

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Posted : July 22, 2013 4:57 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Just curious (and a little bemused when someone drags up post-hurricane data from 18 years ago as though it were yesterday) how many of those who continuously knock Innovative have heard of VITELCO and JEFFREY PROSSER?

Prosser, virtually single-handedly, totally destroyed Vitelco and funneled millions of dollars from the company into his personal coffers - money which was supposed to have been spent maintaining and improving its structure but went instead to purchasing/building multimillion dollar homes replete with the most expensive toys imaginable. When he was finally ousted (and there's no question that it took WAY too long for anyone to realize what he was doing) and the company went into receivership, Innovative was finally born out of the mess. The new company has had an almost insurmountable task righting the wrongs and continues to invest many millions to bring the company back up.

There's no paucity of information available to anyone interested and the court records alone bear testimony to an incredible trail of malfeasance while the judicial proceedings continue to this day.

Of course it's not perfect and it'll take a lot more money and a lot more time to get it back on track but at least keep things in perspective. To persist in bashing those who did nothing to create the problems and are working tirelessly to solve them accomplishes nothing and is a real kick in the arse not only to the company itself but to the hundreds of dedicated employees who are working together for a better future.

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Posted : July 22, 2013 5:28 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

True OT but wish they'd get their act together.
I am still waiting for my deposit from a cable box I returned in the beginning of Nov.
Guess I will call today again for the umpteenth time about it.
Never had to wait this long before.
Pretty inexcusable, IMO.

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Posted : July 22, 2013 6:14 pm
Jim Dandy
(@jim_dandy)
Trusted Member

It took me over two years to get my telephone deposit returned.

There are many reasons that a lot of people in the USVI avoid doing business with Innovative and will continue to do so even if they have "state of the art technology".

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Posted : July 22, 2013 7:58 pm
Ronnie
(@ronnie)
Trusted Member

I thought the viNGN was supposed to carry the signal throughout the island, then sell the signal to the various suppliers. I doubt if it will be no different than now and you use your regular carriers, providing they buy from viNGN and your system will be much faster than those that exist, even from BBVI?

http://www.vingn.com/

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Posted : July 23, 2013 4:23 am
FL Barrier Islander
(@FL_Barrier_Islander)
Trusted Member

I agree Ronnie, Everything I've read is viNGN is the backbone infrastructure. Local ISPs (Internet Service Providers) tap into the backbone and take the service the "last mile" or to the end user/customer's home.

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Posted : July 23, 2013 11:23 am
noOne
(@noOne)
Trusted Member

Yeah I think there was some sort of provision that the last mile would be among last mile companies, and won't directly compete.

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Posted : July 23, 2013 11:53 am
JulieKay
(@JulieKay)
Trusted Member

The guys installing the fiber out here (East End STX) say they're working for innovative. Both buried cable and hanging wires.

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Posted : July 23, 2013 12:17 pm
sunshinefun
(@sunshinefun)
Trusted Member

It matters not who screwed up VITELCO.

When I walk into a customer service center and have to sit and wait for several hours to get a cable box that may or may not work, that is CRAPPY service.

When I call because my landline doen't work and no one comes out to fix it for several months, and then it still doesnt work, that is CRAPPY service.

When I find out that the speed on my "DSL" internet service is 1/10th the advertised speed, that is CRAPPY service.

What did Prosser have to do with that?

Screw Innovative. There are better options available now and I don't need to put up with thier crap.

Soon there will be DISH satalite internet service too.

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Posted : July 23, 2013 12:25 pm
Ronnie
(@ronnie)
Trusted Member

It's so confusing, the whole communication cable thing. Vitelco buried their fiber optic cables eons ago. Now Innovative has rerun all their in the air cable lines for cable TV and Internet. viNGN is burying new fiber optic cable for high speed Internet. Totally unrelated to Innovative/Vitelco.

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Posted : July 23, 2013 1:21 pm
Jim Dandy
(@jim_dandy)
Trusted Member

Both Innovative's and viNGN's projects are both boon doggles that would not exist except for government subsidies.

Innovative as a rural telephone company is entitled to a 11% return on their investment. The more they spend the more the make. It makes no difference if they have any customers and if they continue to maintain their bloated payroll. They still get their check from the FCC's subsidy program.

ViNGN's network build was part of "Keep America Working'. Their business plan makes no sense as who is going to buy their middle mile services? As mentioned above Innovative needs to build their own network (spend lots of money ) so their owners get the biggest check possible from the FCC. BBVI uses microwave for their back haul and while they could use the viNGN middle mile to link their tower sites they don't need to. Currently if BBVI has a problem their own technicians can resolve it quickly including working on weekends. If BBVI depends on viNGN, would viNGN be able to restore service quickly or would they be like AT&T when one of their cell towers goes down and customers on STX have to wait for AT&T to fly someone over from Puerto Rico to fix the problem?

AS for Dish's satellite service it would not be my choice. It OK if you don't want to stream more than a couple of movies a month given the data caps and if you use VOIP telephone service forget it with the much higher latency.

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Posted : July 23, 2013 2:53 pm
xXxRUDExXx
(@xxxrudexxx)
Advanced Member

...Their business plan makes no sense as who is going to buy their middle mile services? As mentioned above Innovative needs to build their own network (spend lots of money ) so their owners get the biggest check possible from the FCC. BBVI uses microwave for their back haul and while they could use the viNGN middle mile to link their tower sites they don't need to...

From what I've read, part of viNGN's business plan is to purchase bulk capacity backhaul on the submarine fiber links to the States at wholesale rates, and then re-sell that capacity to the local ISPs at a substantial discount (at rates the ISPs cannot currently qualify for). These savings, theoretically, will be passed on to their subscribers (us) - and hopefully result in healthy competition among the ISPs with expanded service offerings at substantially lower rates.

I think we may be seeing some of that come to fruition with ATT's and Sprint's launching of LTE, as well as (based on reports in other threads) BBVI's new 20+ Mbps service. Backhaul costs to the States have always been a major obstacle to local providers being able to offer data packages similar to what's available stateside.

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Posted : July 23, 2013 3:57 pm
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