News & Updates

May 15, 2018

Our work continues! We hope you find our first newsletter informative and invite you to reach out with any questions or feedback. Our staff will also be on-hand at the Hurricane Preparedness Fair in Franklin Powell Park this Friday and Saturday, and we hope to see you there. Read on for updates and please consider making a generous contribution today

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As commercial restoration efforts continue, we turn our focus to Coral Bay. Thanks to the support of our generous donors and our hard working technicians and volunteers, we are happy to announce our newest distribution site atop Ajax Peak. This new site brings us to 16 major distribution points on island and reaches an enormous number of homes and businesses in Coral Bay that continue to have limited access to other offerings. Anyone with line of site to Ajax Peak can be connected as quickly as a week after dropping off their Nanobeam at our office above Connections in Cruz Bay. This new site also provides a redundant link to Coral Bay, greatly increasing our reliability and providing an additional option for emergency network redeployment.

Network Priorities

Next up, we are working on a site for East End to provide service in that immediate area and also to reach across the bay to homes and businesses that are blocked from connecting to our current sites by ridgelines. Once this work is done, we will be able to place more of our limited resources toward filling smaller gaps in service and addressing network routing and radio frequency interference issues that have been causing intermittent quality issues for our users. Please continue to reach out to us at helpdesk@lccn.vi with details on any problems you are encountering with your LCCN connectivity.

LCCN Innovation Cell Update

Looking toward the future, our innovation team is hard at work on several offerings to ensure network availability in the event of another serious challenge for our communications infrastructure on St. John. We’re looking forward to the St. John Angels / St. John Community Foundation Preparedness Fair on Friday, May 18th and Saturday, May 19th where we’ll showcase these exciting projects. Projects include a battery powered home hotspot to be seamlessly integrated with nanobeam deployments, a mobile hotspot prototype for neighborhood deployment by volunteers immediately following disaster, and we’ll also be unveiling the latest, greatest iteration of our Power Pod which will integrate an energy efficient cistern water pump.

Ajax Peak Site Goes Online

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We’re very excited to announce our newest distribution site atop Ajax Peak. This site serves a huge section of St. John where commercial services remain limited or all together unavailable today.
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Morgan, Pete and Dylan applied lessons learned to make this distribution site a model for future installations.
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The rocky, mountainous topography of our volcanic islands make serving wireless internet a challenge to say the least. This site represents a critical piece in the puzzle.
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This location will also allow us to establish critical redundancy in our link to Coral Bay. Establishing redundancy wherever possible is a key feature in allowing us to bring connectivity to our first responders and other critical infrastructure quickly in the wake of future emergencies.
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We are very grateful to the homeowners for generously hosting this distribution site in such an important spot.
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Ajax Peak makes our 16th distribution site online since our work began. Next up, we are planning a site for the East End which will reach around the ridge lines that block our current availability.

Get connected today in Coral Bay and support our ongoing work to provide connectivity for St. John.

New fee based service model

Thank you for being a part of our network and helping LCCN with your donations, feedback, patience, encouragement and all the support that truly embodies the spirit of Love City. We are thrilled to continue serving the people of St. John as we build, grow and maintain the LCCN network. 

Early in April we received final approval from the IRS and IRB for our non-profit status. This allows us to bill for the service that many have been enjoying free of charge thanks to the support of our generous donors. Effective June 1st, there will be a $55/mo service fee for 10 Mbps. This fee will put LCCN on sustainable financial footing, allowing us to continue delivering the service that St. John has come to rely on. This will also ensure that donor contributions are used more efficiently to further our mission and support program work to deliver connectivity in the event of another emergency.

Thank you for your ongoing support as we continue our work. We’re confident that this step will allow us to continue to serve St. John through the ongoing process of recovery and put us in the right position to pursue our mission well into the future.

Please find our FAQ below and feel free to reach out with any other questions.

Q: Why $55/mo? Are there other tiers? Is this tax deductible?

A: Your fee-for-service payments help to support our mission to build and maintain a hurricane-hardened network, but for tax purposes you will not be able to write this service off as a donation. We have positioned the pricing at a competitive level that will allow us to provide service and maintain the network, as we have been, while remaining a good option for the majority of our current users. The internet service we offer is part of our effort to build an emergency network to serve the whole of St. John and may not meet every individuals’ needs for an ISP.

Any additional contributions, and past gifts not provided for goods or services, are greatly appreciated. These gifts will go directly toward tax-deductible program work to further our mission including research, development and implementation of disaster-ready communications technology and network upgrades above industry standards to support resiliency and mitigate communications challenges in future storms.

Q: 10Mbps is slower than I’ve been getting. Will my internet slow down?

A: Speeds on our network have basically been a free-for-all with folks getting wildly differing speeds based on traffic and other technical factors. We have seen connection speeds suffer due to ‘bandwidth hogs’. To preserve the integrity of the network, we may limit speeds to 10Mbps. This speed will support Netflix HD streaming on 2 devices simultaneously. There are options available from other ISPs that can offer more speed, and we will never limit speeds in any geographic area where commercial services are not yet available.

 

Q: Is there a contract? What are the terms?

A: Billing will be month-to-month with no contract. Client information will be retained for those who wish to suspend service for any reason and service can be resumed at any time. Service will be provided free on calendar month of installation/activation. No statement credits will be given for unused service. In the event of emergency, service fees will be waived. LCCN reserves the right to change terms at any time.

Q: Can I keep my LCCN service as a back-up?

A: This is a great idea! If you are receiving internet from another ISP you can receive a significant discount for continued LCCN service. LCCN service will be active in the event that your primary ISP becomes unavailable. We’re working on several configuration options that will allow you to seamlessly use our service and a primary service provider at the same time.

Q: I’m getting reconnected to Viya or another ISP and I don’t want to keep LCCN service. What should I do with my Nanobeam?

A: Hold on to it! If you decide to uninstall please take a picture of your installation or take note of which way the Nanobeam is pointing. This network is intended to function when others cannot, so keep your Nanobeam safe and secure so that you can get online in an emergency.

 

New Distribution Site in Fish Bay

We’re nearing completion of a new site to reach the corner of Fish Bay that abuts the National Park. Located at the end of the road (literally) this small area has always had weak to non-existent cell service.

With the devastation from Irma and Maria other ISPs have yet to make it out here. This site will operate off-the-grid and will be ready for rapid redeployment in the event of another storm.

LCCN partners with Viya

Love City Community Network is pleased to announce our partnership with Viya to
provide the residents of St. John, relying on our network, with high-speed Internet.

While evaluating several options to maintain critical connectivity to the Internet, Viya
impressed us immediately with their approach of taking the time to understand our
non-profit’s business needs, technical requirements, and budget. Ultimately our
decision to choose Viya was a technical one. With our experience gained in the wake of
the catastrophic damage caused by Irma and Maria, we needed to make sure that the
partner we chose to serve our network had multiple upstream carrier relationships for
redundancy. Viya’s network diversity means that issues affecting a single off-island
carrier won’t adversely impact our network on St John, as they can quickly reroute our
traffic in the event of a failure.

Viya was also ready to offer support for next-generation technologies like IPv6 and
accommodate our complex technical requirements for BGP routing using LCCN’s IPv4
address space. BGP allows us to host critical infrastructure such as a DNS root server on
St. John and also gives us the potential to reroute our network to a satellite in the event
of another unprecedented loss of infrastructure.

With our long-term partnership with Viya secured, we can finally direct our focus to
urgent tasks such as improving coverage to underserved parts of St John like Coral Bay
and the East End, hardening our network, and testing new technology like our portable
off-grid power systems.

LCCN thanks everyone at Viya who went the extra mile to put an agreement in place and
activate our circuit in less than 24 hours after we finalized it. From their St. John lead
field technician, Travis Rogers, who was responsible for the impressively fast fiber
installation, to their expert network engineers who assisted us with provisioning and
testing, and business leaders and executives who extended a very generous offer – it’s
been an incredible show of support for our mission. LCCN was built from the ground up
with the premise of people helping each other, so we’re proud to be working with the
people that make up Viya. Our staff on St. John know that we’ll never have far to walk
for support if we need it.