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@Work: Surf Coral Bay

Sept. 24, 2006 — Surfing the Internet in the Coral Bay area comes easy thanks to Surf Coral Bay.
Tory Lane, 31, operates the company for Seth Bedell, who about two years ago began providing high-speed wireless Internet service in Coral Bay and areas within sight of the Bordeaux communications tower.
It really improves peoples lives, Lane says.
According to Lane, Bedell got a federal grant to set up Internet service in rural areas. After getting the company underway in 2004, Bedell brought Lane on board a year ago to operate the company when Bedell moved back to the mainland.
The service is very reliable and not vulnerable to bad weather, Lane says. When Hurricane Jeanne passed near in 2004, the company continued to operate despite high winds: Bedell simply hooked up a generator to provide electricity.
Because the communications tower is vulnerable to problems like lightning strikes, however, Surf Coral Bay provides a free dial-up number for customers to use as a backup. The company has customers as far away as Great Cruz Bay and Fish Bay because theyre within site of the Bordeaux communications tower.
A repeater stands on the hill above Skinny Legs Bar and Restaurant in Coral Bay, Lane says, with another one slated for the East End to provide service to places like Johnsons Bay and Johns Folly, located on the southeast end of St. John.
With an office in his Coral Bay home, Lane says he can respond quickly when problems occur. Customers usually only have to wait a couple of days for installation. The service costs $199 to install and $79 a month.
The equipment consists of a small dish installed on a houses roof or deck. Lane says that customers who want to use several computers on their account need to install a router.
The Connecticut-born Lane, who moved to St. John in 1997, initially worked at Cafe Roma and in construction. He changed careers when Bedell taught him the Surf Coral Bay system.
Its easy to set up, he says.
The job generally gives him flexibility to pursue two of his passions, sailing and scuba diving, Lane says, but sometimes he gets very busy. It seems to come in spurts, he says.
Call Lane at 626-7873 or visit the Surf Coral Bay web site.
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