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@Work: Broadband VI

Sept. 22, 2005 – Michael Meluskey came to St. Croix seven years ago and has stayed because he likes the people and the natural beauty of the island.
One thing he did not like, though, was the fact that he could not get reliable, high-speed Internet service at his home. He had a couple of friends who felt the same way – Rick Hasson and Jerry Smith. They came up with a solution. Two years ago they started their own company — Broadband VI.
Mike, who worked as a software consultant around the states for 15 years before moving here, found himself working more than 60 hours a week for the new company, but it apparently has been paying off. "We've doubled in the last two months," he says.
One of the reasons the company is taking off now is that it recently connected with Global Crossing. "We now have unlimited bandwidth and are connected directly to the states by fiber optics," Meluskey says.
He gets excited talking about his company; a smile comes easily to his face. "It is all about inter-connectivity. I like making people's quality of life better by connecting them to the world," he says.
The company employees four people, and everyone is staying busy connecting new customers. The company has 25 access points across the island, while other companies offering similar services on St. Croix have three to five access points. Meluskey says, "We are all about covering St. Croix."
He says he has been able to surf the net on his laptop while parked in Sunny Isles and Sun Shine Mall parking lots, as well as on the boardwalk in downtown Christiansted and at a table in Cheeseburgers in Paradise.
He won't guarantee that the system will come through a major hurricane, but, "The plan is to stay up at all times." The company has a plan for storms. Its bigger receiving units on towers will be taken down and replaced with small units when a storm is due to come through.
Meluskey is a member of the Buccaneer Golf Course and could often be seen there until the business got real busy this summer. He said recently, "I ran into Tim (the golf pro at Buccaneer) in Gallows Bay. He thought I had left island because he no longer saw me."
He also likes diving and boating, and he follows the Georgia Tech football and basketball teams, something he can do easily over the Internet.
He earned his bachelor's degree from Georgia Tech and his master's of business administration from Georgia State. His reading habits also center on the Internet: He reads the St. Croix Source, DrudgeReport.com and FARK.com.
He says he really can't pick a favorite spot on St. Croix – it's a four-way tie — Buck Island, Christiansted boardwalk, the farthest north point of Judiths Fancy and Cane Bay wall.
When asked about what the future of Broadband VI would be, he says he doesn't really know where it is going, but he says it with a big smile.
His e-mail address is"mike@broadband.vi".

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