SureCall’s Fusion4Home cellular signal booster reconnects an organic farm on a Caribbean island struggling to recover from a major hurricane.
About the Client
Ridge to Reef Farm is a unique combination of certified organic food provider, award-winning environmental education workshop and premier agritourism site. The 130 acre farm provides the U.S. Virgin Islands with certified organic fruits, vegetables and livestock. The farm’s idyllic location in a pocket valley of the USVI is beautiful, but remote.
Hurricane Maria was at its full category 5 force when it landed at St. Croix in 2017. It hit Ridge to Reef Farm as the crew was preparing food and supplies for St. Thomas, a sister island impacted just weeks prior by Hurricane Irma, another category 5 event. The crew were fortunate to survive, but the storm left the farm devastated.
Cellular service at Ridge to Reef Farm went from poor to nonexistent. Because 75 percent of Ridge to Reef Farm’s operation is done over the phone and internet, business ground to a halt. Farm director Nate Olive had to drive his truck down a valley and up a mountain multiple times per week to make calls. Working day-and-night to get the farm back on its feet, the crew needed a cellular solution that would reconnect them with customers and hurricane recovery personnel.
Cautiously hopeful, Olive installed the SureCall Fusion4Home which he purchased on a disaster relief trip to the mainland United States. Many other solutions he had tried on the farm failed to perform, due in large part to the wide-ranging technology found on the subtropical island. Additionally, the farm runs on a solar array, which limited power capacity.
“We went from no service to back in business after 30 minutes of installation,” explained Nate Olive of Ridge to Reef.
Olive and the farm crew were amazed at the results. Fusion4Home reestablished regular communication and gave a major boost to the farm’s rebuilding and sales efforts.
The SureCall booster also drastically improved the signal strength. Instead of struggling to find one or two bars, the team had access to five full bars inside two rooms of the house.
“Fusion4Home delivered more than I expected. It’s taken our off-grid organic farm back into business and keeps us in touch with our customers. I would highly recommend this for other people who struggle with the same thing,” said Olive.
Olive is experimenting with best antenna placement to get around dense wood walls, but results and power requirements from the SureCall Fusion4Home already have him considering boosters for the office at the farm’s community center building.