Frequently Asked Questions

Most Asked Questions at Sea Ranch Connect Support

My ONT or "outside box" has been installed, but I really don't like the location. What are my options?

We can have a Sea Ranch Connect technician meet with you to discuss what options we might have available. However, any change is likely to incur charges to the homeowner.

I'm subscribed, what's next?

Next step, you will receive a call from Sea Ranch Connect Support to schedule a pre-construction appointment with a Sea Ranch Connect technician. During the appointment you will:

  • Determine how to bring the Sea Ranch Connect fiber network to your home.
  • Give an estimate of how much it will cost you to bring internet service to your home.
  • Price is variable.

Why is my streaming app showing my location in Seattle?

There is a collection of databases which map IP addresses to geographical locations. These databases are maintained by private organizations which are made available to other organizations (e.g. television and media streaming services) to use to customize (or limit) access to their content. You can see a list of some of the GeoIP providers here. Searching the IP address 64.38.186.55 will reflect the current location information from five of these database providers. As you can see one provider, EurekAPI, updated their information before we even reached out in December and is correct. Attempts with the others have not proven so positive. Another resource, http://whatismyipaddress.com/ip/64.38.186.55 shows the correct information as well.

We have made numerous tweaks to our RWHOIS records for the same IP block in an attempt to trigger these provider's processes to update. We'll be watching if these attempts are helpful. These providers do their updates on their own time schedule and using their own criteria we are somewhat at their mercy to update themselves.

Do I need a fiber extension?

During the pre-construction appointment, the Sea Ranch Connect technician will talk with you about your need for a fiber extension and your options. He can give you a quote for any extra work, and if you approve the work you will be able to schedule it for a later date. Please see the information on our in-home setup page.

What is a UPS?

A UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) is an auxiliary battery power supply. The battery serves as standalone backup power to your gateway device in the event of a power outage, your gateway device will maintain power for continued internet and phone service. Note that connected devices will also require their own backup power. Your UPS can provide up to 8 hours of backup power. If you will be relying on the Sea Ranch Connect telephone service, you will need a UPS to use your phone during PG&E outage periods. You can read more about the UPS here.

Does Sea Ranch Connect offer email?

No, Sea Ranch Connect does not offer email service. Below are some examples of email service providers where it is easy to create a free email account. They are all free and only require you to fill out some basic information to create your account.

Google Email Account To create your Google email account, click here. Fill-in the information to create your email account.

Outlook Email Account To create your Outlook email account, click here. Fill-in the information to create your email account.

iCloud Email Account To create your iCloud account, click here. Fill-in the information to create your Apple ID and iCloud account.

What can I do with my connection?

There are a number of services you can use with your Sea Ranch Connect connection. Learn more on our What You Can Do with Your Sea Ranch Connect Connection page.

Overview

What is Sea Ranch Connect?

The project has two parts: 1) to install a fiber optic telecommunications network with access to every home and lot on TSR, and 2) to contract an Internet Services Operation over the new network which will provide high performance and reliable broadband service to subscribers.

The board has approved both phases of the project. We have contracted with GigabitNow to act as operator of our network. Services provided will include:

  • Will new subscribers still be making a 2 year commitment? 2 year agreement is for everyone, even new residents who would like to subscribe to Sea Ranch Connect.
  • Initial fiber connection to a router installed and tested at the home.

Fees for commercial and non-TSR entities have not yet been established.

Who is GigabitNow?

GigabitNow brings over 20 years of internet connectivity and customer focused experience to projects, as well as, turnkey solutions for the planning, design, construction, operation, and support of gigabit fiber networks. With expertise in a variety of fiber network architectures, electronics, and Outside Plant (OSP) deployments, GigabitNow are experts in working with customers in determining the best fiber solution for their community. GigabitNow handles design and construction of network infrastructure and home connections, in addition to, the handling of all network management, daily operations, end-user support and billing. GigabitNow has managed the construction of Sea Ranch Connect and will be our ISP or Operator for the network.

Where will the fiber be connected to my home?

The fiber will be connected through a panel called the ONT on the exterior of your house. This is explained in-depth on the In-Home Setup page.

Internet Service

What are the Sea Ranch Connect Internet Service features?

Sea Ranch Connect provides fast and reliable internet service including:

  • A 50 Mbps active ethernet connection to the internet over the community fiber network.
  • Up to 50 Mbps internet speeds for both uploads and downloads.
  • No limit on the amount of data you can transmit each month.
  • Option to have a static IP address.

What are the options for the gateway device?

We have chosen to go with the Calix brand of devices. There will be a choice between a standard gateway and a WiFi enabled version.

Standard Gateway – Calix 716GE-I – This device has 4 Gigabit Ethernet Port. You can read more about the device here.

WiFi Enabled Gateway – Calix 844GE – This device has 4 Gigabit Ethernet Ports. Dual band WiFi, 5GHz 802.11 ac/a/g/n and 2.5 GHz 802.11 b/g/n compatible. You can read more about the device here. The user manual is available here.

The CyberPower indoor UPS is rated for indoor installations (up to 50° C). Units are configured with North American 3-Prong Type B power plug. Units are 12V 7.2AH 36W. You can read more about the device here.

What is the runtime for the gateway UPS?

The manufacturer has an estimated runtime rated at 8 hours. You can read more about the UPS here.

Can I continue to use my current email service?

If you have a common email address like Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, or even MCN.org you would be able to continue using it as normal. If you have an email address from CVC (name@cvcc.com), then you will need to change your email address.

Does the fiber split when in the home?

We do not need to splice the fiber when it's in the home. The fiber is connected and secured in the gateway device

Is the screen very bright on the gateway?

The gateway does not have a screen on it.

Is there device installation in the home?

The gateway is installed in each home. The location will vary based on the install path.

Does Sea Ranch Connect use laser light?

Yes, Sea Ranch Connect uses Laser light to transmit data. If you are required to move or troubleshoot with the gateway device, please be aware of the presence of laser light. If you look directly into laser light it can cause serious eye damage. If you see that the fiber is not connected and you observe the presence of laser light, contact Sea Ranch Connect immediately.

Warning The fiber cable is extremely fragile, please do not attempt to touch or remove this cable. Repairs for any damage to this cable will be billed to the homeowner.

Will there be monitoring devices or smart meters installed on my property?

No, the gateway device is the only powered piece of equipment that will be installed on your property.

Is there a manual available for my Sea Ranch Connect gateway?

Sea Ranch Connect has made available for download the manufacturer's 844GE user's guide for advanced subscribers. IMPORTANT the guide is for users with a strong knowledge of Internet Protocol (IP), routing principles, and internet security, datacom, telecom, standards-based ethernet technologies and conventions. Use of this guide without a clear understanding of these technologies could result in a disruption in the operation of your gateway and could cause a disruption of service. If Sea Ranch Connect technicians are needed to reconfigure and restore gateway services because of subscriber action the subscriber will be charged additional support fees.

Download 844G GigaCenter User's Guide

What can I do with my connection?

There are a number of services you can use with your Sea Ranch Connect connection. Learn more on our What You Can Do with Your Sea Ranch Connect Connection page.

Do I own the gateway/UPS that I paid for?

Yes, the hardware that you paid Sea Ranch Connect to install in your home is your property. It's just like any other appliance that you own and up to you to take care of it. Sea Ranch Connect would be more then happy to provide you with a new device, if needed, but there would be a fee to replace the device(s).

Should I use a surge protector with my gateway/UPS?

We strongly recommend the use of a surge protector with any expensive electronics that you may own, including your gateway and UPS. Given how frequent power outages occur in The Sea Ranch, using a surge protector will help protect the gateway and extend its service life span.

Telephone Service

For more in-depth FAQs about Sea Ranch Connect Telephone features and service please visit the Telephone FAQ.

What are the Sea Ranch Connect Telephone features?

Sea Ranch Connect Telephone service provides unlimited free calling to Canada and the US, and very inexpensive calling to the rest of the world. A number of high tech telephone features will be available at no additional charge as described on the Telephone Features page.

What are the Sea Ranch Connect costs for international calling?

You can view the costs on our international calling rates page.

Can I disable the Sea Ranch Connect Telephone service when I rent my house out?

There are no current plans to disable Sea Ranch Connect telephone service for periods of time. We do have a feature that would require a PIN code for all international calls. This effectively disables the feature for people that do not have the code, but would still allow local calls to be made.

Will Sea Ranch Connect Telephone service operate when the electricity goes out?

Both Sea Ranch Connect Internet and Telephone services require power. Backup power will be provided by generators and batteries for our network and data centers. You would need to have a UPS Battery Backup solution within your home to maintain service. Each subscriber is responsible for making their own backup plans. The fiber gateway may have a power backup option available as well.

Subscription

I'm subscribed, what's next?

Next step, you will receive a call from Sea Ranch Connect Support to schedule a pre-construction appointment with a Sea Ranch Connect technician. During the appointment you will:

  • Determine how to bring the Sea Ranch Connect fiber network to your home.
  • Give an estimate of how much it will cost you to bring internet service to your home.
  • Price is variable.

What payment methods are available to me?

All customers need to setup automatic payments. You can use a credit/debit card or ACH. ACH is an automatic withdrawal from your checking or savings account. Sea Ranch Connect does not mail invoices and does not accept payments by check or cash.

When do I start getting billed?

You will be billed and payment processed on the 5th of every month. Once your in-home install is performed by Sea Ranch Connect technicians and service is available you will begin to be billed. All services are prorated to the 5th of the month.

Can I keep my current service?

Members are not required to subscribe to the fiber service. You can subscribe to any available service. However, subscribing to the new Sea Ranch Connect network will provide much better service and performance and also benefit the Sea Ranch community as a whole.

Will there be an additional connection charge to hook my house up after the fiber network is complete?

Sea Ranch Connect provides fiber to the curb of every home and lot in The Sea Ranch. New subscribers will have to pay the costs of running fiber from the curb to their home, and they may have to bring in special equipment. We estimate that their costs will range from $500 up to $2,000 or more depending on the length of the driveway.

What are my responsibilities for set up inside my house?

The Sea Ranch Connect service operates exactly like any ISP (Internet Service Provider) which means that it will provide service to your home—however the installation and operation of devices within your home, whether laptops, tablets or smart phones, will be your responsibility. We will provide detailed tips and recommendations on the website and a list of network professionals in the immediate area who can help you. Sea Ranch Connect will also provide online and telephone support.

Can I suspend my service?

We currently have no plan to allow suspensions. Your two year subscriber commitment underwrites the connection from the curbside to your home. This policy will be reviewed after the initial two year contract is completed.

What are the services and associated prices Sea Ranch Connect offers?

Sea Ranch Connect Services
  • Internet connection of up to 50 Mbps Upload and 50 Mbps Download - $70 /month
  • VoIP phone service (including unlimited local, US and Canada calling (excluding AK and PR)) $25 /month
Home Internet Gateways and Accessories
  • Calix 716GE-I (More Info) - $156
  • Calix 844GE (More Info) - $225
  • Calix 844E Wireless Extender Device - $175
  • Calix CyberPower Battery Backup (More Info) - $64
Optional Internet and Telephone Services
  • Additional New Telephone Number - $3 /number
  • Porting, or Transfer, of Existing Telephone Number - $25 /number
  • Dedicated Static IP - $5 /month
Installation Options
  • Home Conduit/Fiber Extension - $6 /ft
  • In-Home Network Consulting or Troubleshooting $95 /hour

Sea Ranch Connect Fiber Network/Infrastructure

Sea Ranch Connect provides broadband and telephone, won't we want to deliver TV via the fiber network?

Technically the Sea Ranch Connect network can support television in a number of ways, streaming is available now and there are cable like packages available for streaming from Google, Acorn, Dish and other vendors. More conventional broadcast type television and other specialized internet services could also be provided like online security and online medicine. These kinds of services will be considered if there is satisfactory demand. Contact a member of the Sea Ranch Board's Subcommittee for Sea Ranch Connect and advise them of any services you’d like to see considered.

Is there adequate fiber to serve future subscribers and undeveloped lots? Is fiber optic available at every lot, so that homes can be connected upon construction?

Yes, the Sea Ranch Connect infrastructure includes fiber run to Carson boxes or "hand holes" at the curb near every home and lot on TSR. So there is no need to request fiber for vacant lots.

Lots and unsubscribed homes will have enough fiber coiled in their hand hole to provide for future connection to the network. There will even be extra fiber to support possible customization of the connection point, and unknowns regarding new home location.

Owners of unsubscribed homes will have to pay for their connection from curb to house when they subscribe. Sea Ranch Connect will meet with new subscribers to determine the costs of connecting their home to the fiber stored at the curb.

Owners building homes on their lots will have to run the fiber when they run their other utilities from the curb to their home. We expect that the incremental cost during home construction will be minimal.

History

Who are the people on the telecom subcommittee?

  • Peter Youtz, peter@youtz.com - former software developer and Microsoft research engineer
  • Michael Kleeman, mkleeman@ucsd.edu - former startup member of Sprint, founder of WilTel, current consultant developing broadband in third world countries
  • Bill McCarthy, wpm@northcst.com - former Matfot member, community activist responsible for utility under-grounding in Gualala
  • Jim Carruthers, jimcarruthers@me.com - current facilities planner, former Matfot member, former TSR Community Manager
  • Don Kemp, don@kemphouse.com - financial consultant responsible for innovative Redwood Forest Foundation financing
  • Jack Dupre, dupre@sonic.net - fiber optic test and standards consultant, member of Access Sonoma Broadband group
  • Elisabeth Watson, elisabeth.a.watson@gmail.com - current Technology Strategy consultant
  • Chris Kenber, ckenber@sbcglobal.net - former Finance Committee Chair, current not for profit business consultant, former high tech CEO

How will we pay for it? What impact will the proposal have on dues?

The fiber network infrastructure will be built using primarily private loans from community members. Repayment will be funded approximately 50% by the $10 increase in the assessment already in place and 50% by service fees from subscribers to the network. Repayment is expected in approximately 12 years dependent upon subscription levels. We assume a future board would remove the $10 /month additional assessment once the loan is repaid. Overall the project will provide a significant positive revenue stream to the Association once the loan(s) are repaid.

Does the project benefit full-timers at the expense of part-timers or lot-owners?

The project benefits every sector of our community. The recent telecom survey shows that 95% of Sea Ranchers think reliable internet is essential, and 84% think that TSRA should explore developing a fiber network. This is what the board has done through its unanimous vote on October 31. With better broadband, almost half the part-timers expect to be able to spend more time at their Sea Ranch homes.

Rental agencies report that reliable broadband is essential to rentals and many part-timers rent their homes when they're away. Even lot owners favor fiber so that they can build modern homes. It is clear that overall real estate values will benefit from high speed and reliable Internet access.

Are there California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), Cal Advanced Services Fund (CASF) or other grants available to pay for a portion of the fiber project? Is TSRA looking into grants?

TSRA previously applied for an FCC Rural Broadband grant in the amount of $500k, and a CASF grant from CPUC for $3,120,000, but we were not awarded either grant.

Does the fiber business model plan for enough bandwidth to serve our peak periods on weekends and holidays?

Yes! Fiber optic cable has very high capacity and our feasibility model assumes the purchase of more than enough bandwidth to serve the anticipated subscriber base. The feasibility model treats all subscribing rental homes, part-time homes and full-time homes as full-time subscribers. When we compare to other communities like the Issaquah Highlands Fiber community, we're providing the same or more bandwidth than Issaquah Highlands does for their subscriber homes which are typically full-time, four member households.

There are existing vendors, some even say they're improving service, isn't that good enough?

The fiber project is a long term solution to three telecommunications problems we're facing: 1) today's lack of acceptable broadband service in areas of TSR, 2) both the decay and shortage of direct-buried telephone copper pairs throughout TSR, and 3) the decaying cable TV coax on TSR. Verizon DSL is dependent on quality copper pairs with direct runs to their central office, and DSL is an aging technology with limited bandwidth capability. The fiber network project will replace both aging infrastructures and also deliver modern broadband with an expected lifetime in excess of 50 years.

Why can't we rely on the free market to develop a reliable service here?

The TSR Utilities Committee formed a telecom subcommittee three years ago to work with vendors and to seek partnerships to improve our broadband. We met with appropriate people at Verizon, AT&T, Central Valley Cable, Comcast, Sonic.Net and many others and asked if TSR cooperation and investment would enable their participation here. With the possible exception of Verizon's limited DSL offering, no company was interested in a relationship with our community. In vendors' eyes we are a small market with little growth potential since the number of homes on the Sea Ranch is capped.

Is there some way to reduce the size of the capital loan? Could TSR Members pay their share "up-front" and not have to pay interest on a capital loan?

Frank Bell has arranged to finance the project in full through loans from members. TSR Members cannot pay their share up front.

How do we plan for the network to serve the Burbank Housing homes?

The project will install fiber at the curb along Burbank Housing and will preserve all options for whatever future this housing area may have. Burbank residents will be able to subscribe, although their subscription agreement will be a modified agreement and they will have to pay the cost of their connection from the curb to their home.

Will other non-TSRA entities like TSRA itself, the Lodge, TSR Building Supply and the Verdant View businesses be able to subscribe? How will they contribute to the required investment?

Yes, commercial entities will be welcome to subscribe. They will need to pay for the connection from the curb to their business and their usage. Their rates are likely to be higher than those for members because they are not contributing to the capital expense of the project.

Isn't wireless the latest technology? Why wouldn't we use wireless?

Wireless and fiber are both fast evolving, popular technologies for distributing broadband. Fiber, however, has many advantages over wireless. Fiber can be routed to guarantee service at every home and lot at TSR. Fiber is laid in-ground. Wireless relies on a network of above-ground antennae and is subject to a wide variety of environmental problems. Most wireless services have capacity issues and are frequently capped. Fiber is more expensive initially but has a lower ongoing cost both for maintenance and equipment upgrade. Fiber is also the most future-proof solution with a capacity well in excess of current or anticipated future demand. For further information, contact Michael Kleeman, mkleeman@ucsd.edu.

NOTE The term "wireless" can be confusing. The discussion here concerns "wireless" technology used for distributing broadband connectivity to homes. Sea Ranch Connect uses fiber cable to each home on Sea Ranch rather than wireless for that distribution. However, a wireless fiber router will still be provided in each home for customers who wish to configure wireless connections to their computers and devices. Internet services are then carried on the backbone of fiber optic cable to and to and from each home's wireless router.

Need Assistance?

Sea Ranch Connect Customer Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Call 1-866-270-1613 or email customer service and we'll be happy to assist you.

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