LIAS Pot Luck AGM

Event Date: 
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 - 5:30pm

Attention:  All Current and Future Broadband Subscribers!

We now have 62 households on Lasqueti and 35 in Gillies Bay hooked up to a high-speed internet connection, provided by the Lasqueti community!

The Lasqueti Internet Access Society (LIAS) is our Internet Service Provider (ISP) and it it time for our annual General Meeting:

Pot Luck at the Community Hall, Tues. Sept. 30th - 5:30 pm

Lets get together and celebrate the success of the project to date. We have achieved our best hope scenario with respect to the reliabiity and reach of the system.  There still remain people who would like to get hooked up and this is your chance to come out and discuss your situation with others who have managed to get themselves connected.

This is also an opportunity for those of you receiving service to come and discuss the future of our system and perhaps share a story about the changes it has afforded your life. It is also your chance to discuss any issues with the system which have come up for you and share what you have learned with others, particularly those who have yet to get connected.

COME ON ALL YOUR WIRED PEOPLE OUT THERE (or wannabies): LET'S SHARE A MEAL, HAVE FUN AND CELEBRATE A FEEL GOOD, SUCCESS STORY FOR OURSELVES.

Information meeting ~ AGM (short): election of officers, financial report, etc. ~ Pot Luck Celebration.

This news is related to...: 

Lasqueti Internet Access Society (LIAS)

"Internet Access for the Central Strait and Northern Gulf Islands"

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Comments

joseph's picture

Making our life here possible...

Both of us need a high-speed internet connection to continue our work without commuting, so part of our plan for moving to Lasqueti involved getting it some way or other.  Without LIAS we would be paying big bucks to some corporate master, probably for an inferior service (over cell or satellite).  We are so grateful for all the hard work and long hours the LIAS wireless team has put in to create such a fabulous and affordable system.

Nearly every day, this unobtrusive technology allows us to stay connected while staying home - a perfect fit for a small-footprint lifestyle in our busy world.  It also allows us to earn our keep here, and because of that, I think, in the long run, it is a key foundation stone for a more stable and thriving local economy on the island, as those who can do so bring a more stable cash flow to the island.

I'm excited about the potential here, and, as I said, grateful to those who had the foresight and strength of will to see it through with such success.

...Joseph & Brigitte

 

LIAS NEWS LETTERS

 

Seasons Greetings Lasqueti Internet Access Society members;

 

As 2009 comes to a close we can look back at some major accomplishments, milestones and headaches over the past year and look forward to many new challenges and changes in the coming year.

 

The purpose of this update, the first of many, is to keep all society members up to date with the evolving role of the society and the members, and of the actual changes which are pushing this evolution.

 

There are some key changes that will affect all of us.  First of all it will now be necessary to insure our volunteers for liability. This will mean an increase of the annual dues from $5.00 to $25.00 a year due on Jan. 1st of each year, payable by anyone signing up for a month or more, commencing on Jan 1st 2010. This increase will pay the cost of insuring the entire membership and all volunteers and is over and above usage fees.

 

As most of you know, we had our annual AGM on Nov. 8th at the Internet Center. At that time the membership voted to approve the increase in membership fees, elected new board and approved the idea of a new technology committee. Officers of the society, elected by consensus are:

Don MacDonald (returning) -Vice-Chairperson

Louie Durchanek (returning)

Melinda Auerbach – Treasurer/Secretary

Willy Clark – Chairperson

Shaun Lester

 

It was further, established that all board meetings will be held at the Internet Center on the first Tuesday of each month at 3:30 pm. All members are welcomed. Information is always posted at the Internet Center.

 

At present the board is looking at a policy and process to improve the signal of many users on Lasqueti. This may mean that some members will need to buy new 900 radios and LIAS might need to implement a buyback policy and process for the old 2.4 radios, more about this in coming emails.

 

REMEMBER; We are a volunteer society not a for profit service. When we find/acquire $50,000.00 in grant money for equipment that means we need to come up with $50,000.00 worth of volunteer time to make it all work.

 

Clear Signals to you all;

The LIAS Board

December 2009

 

LIAS NEWS LETTERS

Members;

 
Happy June LIAS members,

This latest LIAS Newsletter is packed with important information—including new policies—so please read carefully. Contact Jamie if you have any questions: jamie [at] lasqueti [dot] ca, or at 8619 Mon – Wed & Fri from 12 noon – 5pm.

ACCESS POINTS

We'll start this month's letter with Vocab; this month's word is Access Point (actually, that's two words...we'll let it slide this time).  For those of you who don’t know, an Access Point, or AP, is the site where a LIAS broadband signal originates.  There are several A.P.s up and down the island.  If you receive LIAS broadband, you get it from an Access Point.  Attached to this email is an Excel document with all Lasqueti LIAS members and their corresponding APs.  Find your name on the list and in the column next to it will be the name of your AP.  The doc is grouped by AP, so you’ll easily be able to see everyone on the same AP as you.  If you have trouble with the internet, the first call you make should be to someone on your AP – if their internet is working & yours is not, the problem, most likely, is with your computer system or your radio set-up.  If several people on your AP are having internet problems, then the trouble is most likely with the network (ie; then you can call us)

NEW POLICIES

At the last board meeting (1 June 2010) a motion was passed to change the existing fee structure. As of July 1st there will be three payment options for service: Yearly at $400.00, Quarterly at $110.00 and Monthly at $40.00. It is no longer cost effective to offer hourly, daily, or weekly service anywhere but at the Internet Center.  This new fee structure will also alter the concept of “Hotspots” on Lasqueti.

Secondly, we will no longer allow members to receive service indefinitely without paying. We will begin cutting off service for non-payment in the near future. You will be advised via email when this will happen. LIAS barely makes enough in fees to cover the cost of running and maintaining the system; therefore we have developed new policies that will make LIAS more cost effective. Another policy change is that there is now a base amount of data usage allowable for each basic service agreement. As of July 1st, members will be allowed 10 gigabytes of download/upload data per month (one movie is approximately 0.7 – 1 gigabyte).  If members require more data we will develop a fee structure for that extra usage. Nothing will happen to your service until we have talked to you about your usage. Some members are simply not aware of their data usage or how to limit their usage. We pay the same amount for uploading as downloading, So if you use peer to peer downloading services (file-sharing), please limit your uploads,

 Trade-in Policy

Weak Signals – the issue:  If you have a weak signal, it impacts the whole network, slowing down internet reception for your neighbours and others on the network.  Weak signals are usually the result of either improper equipment or improper installation.  We continue to identify members with weak signals and have managed to recommend ways for these members to boost their signals to acceptable levels.  So far this has meant either repositioning or changing their radios.  For those who need to change their radios we have developed a trade-in policy. This policy states that LIAS will buy back radios in good condition at a 25% per annum discount for depreciation and in most cases LIAS will waive the $50.00 programming charge. Members are reminded that LIAS has determined that for the benefit of the whole system, there is a minimum signal strength. If for some reasons members cannot or do not improve their signals after advice from LIAS or from an installer, LIAS may have to discontinue service to that radio/member.  We are hoping that this will never be the case.

PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST

In order to maintain the strength and integrity of our Broadband Network, we are requesting that all members provide LIAS with photos of their installations. These photos, which can be emailed to LIAS tech [at] lasqueti [dot] ca, should show the back of the radio facing toward the Access Point including a clear site of how the radio is mounted (an example will be posted at Lasqueti.ca) photos from a cell phone are fine.  In order to help members with the proper placement of their radios LIAS is in the process of training some new installers.  If you wish to have your radio assessed or serviced contact Jamie for the name of an installer.

As well, LIAS is in the process of creating a user manual for our members in order to allow you to understand your service better. This manual will advise you what to do if you do not have service (the first step is to call a member on your same Access Point to determine if it is your radio or your Access Point), or if you have a poor signal strength, and how to find out about your radios signal.

We continue to up-grade our access points and are about to erect the mid-island tower that will, hopefully, complete the construction of the backbone. We still need, however, to find ways to power each Access Point in the winter when there is little solar power. We do not have the money to buy enough panels in order to power each AP nor do we have the manpower to charge the batteries at each AP in the winter months. Therefore, we are doing what we can at this point. This will not become a problem until November, so for now all is running well.

The concept of the LIAS system is one of community service based on neighborhood access points maintained by members.  What this could mean is that each Access Point would be maintained and serviced by the members who receive signal from that site.  If you could start talking to your LIAS neighbors about how you could start supporting your Access Point it will help this next evolution of the LIAS model to develop.  We are in the process from developing maps and spreadsheets of the system that will identify the users of each AP to each other.  In the mean time ask you neighbors, get to know how the system works.

 

Clear Signals to you all;

The LIAS Board

June 2010

 

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