relocating & Internet speed STX vs STT
Really enjoying this msg board. Just wondering if anyone knew if internet is better on STX or STT. My husband and I are relocating to STT in June this yr. My job is internet based so speed is super important for work. I use an office IP phone and needs lots of power/speed to function. Wish I could afford a T1 line. I hear they are about 1,000 a month.
We have visited STT five times in the past two yrs. We love it!!. However never been to STX. Now wondering if we should visit before deciding on STT for sure. Internet will be the deciding factor.
Does STX have fewer/less mountains or hills than STT?? The pictures I've seen online appear that way. Just curious. On STT seems like there is not a flat piece of land anywhere (but I love it) Also, we have 2 small weenie dogs (our babies) Would it be impossible to find a rental with them?
Any info offered is greatly appreciated!!
I don't know how STX compares to STT in regards to Internet. However, we have a small cottage on STT equipped with high speed Internet and a speed upgrade booster. As local Internet goes it works quite well, including with Internet telephony. We've just rented the cottage through early summer, but it may come available around the time you arrive and may be of interest (we have accepted small pets from time to time).
Here is the ad from the most recent rental: http://virgin.craigslist.org/apa/2146418361.html
I've been spending winters on STX and need a high-speed line like you to run my business. My office line is on Skype, so we also need fast speeds and stable connections. Unfortunately, despite paying for the fastest speed possible from broadband.vi, we've had to abandon all hope of using Skype. The speeds are just way too unpredictable and inconsistent. Truly disappointing, especially after paying more than $100/month for the "super fast" speed--1.5 mbps, which it rarely, if ever touches. Most of the speeds we consistently get are in the 500-700 kbps for download and 200-300 kbps for upload (the latter of which is frustratingly slow. Fortunately, cell phone coverage is pretty good on island and our plan with AT&T, which is the dominant carrier here, includes the VI and PR as part of our coverage. So that's been a big help.
In short, I'd say if you absolutely need to use an IP-based phone, you may be out of luck (at least on STX). However, the speeds are plenty fast enough for regular Web browsing and uploading/downloading reasonably sized files.
By island standards, Broadband VI is great, and probably the best of all the providers, on average. But by stateside standards, they are slow and expensive, and might not provide the day-to-day uptime you need. After a lightning strike or a minor hurricane, you could be down for a week. After a major hurricane, it could be much longer. But they are improving steadily. We used to have very frequent outages at my house, but they upgraded some equipment a couple of months ago, and we've gone without interruption since then.
As others have said BBVI is your best option. If you cannot have downtime though I'd look for a backup solution as well as the elements and lack of "economies of scale" here make providing 99.999% uptime very difficult for any internet service provider.
Also, if you consider a T1 to be fast than you should be ok here. But a T1 is not very fast any longer clicking it around 1.5mbps. Most stateside internet is now in the 3-20mbps range which is not cheaply available reliably here in the USVI as of yet. You can get 3mbps from affordably from Choice but it is very unreliable and BBVI can provide higher speeds but it will be very expensive right now. Fortunately I think BBVI has plans to upgrade speeds reliably and affordably in the near future.
We bought a house in the hills of STX because the condos we looked at wouldn't allow our two small dogs we're line of sight to a Choice tower, so we usually get pretty fast Internet. We had a two week outage because of a defective modem by otherwise we've been very satisfied.
Tip: If you keep a wireless card as a backup (either Sprint or AT&T) you still have internet when the WAPA goes down.
Speeds are abysmal and expensive by stateside standards no matter what option you pick. You have to recalibrate your scale of "good internet" when living here.
For STX, it depends on where you are on the island. BBVI has been the most reliable but depending on where you are Choice's WiMax service may be much faster and cheaper to boot. However, until the past several weeks we had found Choice to be less reliable than BBVI. Of late our Choice connection (about 2.2 mbps with advertised speed of 3 mbps that we stepped down to since we weren't getting anything close to the 5 we signed up for) has been very solid and I hope it remains so (at which point we'll cancel our BBVI 1 mbps service.)
The difference between 1 and 2.2 mbps is big. With the latter we can now run multiple computers, iPad,Tivos, Vonage IP phone, and use a wireless XBox360 online gaming connection simultaneously without problems.
I moved to St. Thomas 7 months now. I on the web constantly as thats also how I work. In the past 7 months I have noticed all the Internet providers have their share of issues so the main thing is one that will respond quickly when there is one. The two biggest Innovative and Choice have standard take a number and stand in line type service. I expect that in the states but here... I steered clear of those two.
So far I have been pleased with my provider and like I said online is how I make a living.