Services and Fees
La Cañada Wireless Association (LCWA) offers membership to anyone interested in getting involved in our wireless community and who lives within range of our radio access points.
Basic Fee Structure
$40 per month for up to 5 Mbps service
$50 per month for up to 10 Mbps service
$60 per month for up to 20 Mbps service
There are additional one-time fees to join and for your on-premises equipment, which are on average around $250. Also, all speeds are “up to” speeds and your measured speed may vary depending on many factors. Payment is by credit or debit card and we can set up automatic payments for those who wish it.
To get a quote and to join LCWA, please fill out our new member form.
Which Speed Should I Sign up For?
Here are our recommendations for what LCWA speed levels to subscribe to:
- 5 Mbps: simple web browsing and email
- 10 Mbps: same as above plus moderate streaming video one TV; or VOIP (Skype)
- 20 Mbps: heavy streaming video such as on multiple TV’s or 4K streaming video on one TV
Plan to Get Involved
Keep in mind, this is a non-profit membership organization, not a commercial service, and all members are encouraged to volunteer. Meetings are open to all, and members in good standing have voting privileges. Members are encouraged to participate actively in all aspects of the association’s operations.
How is LCWA Unique?
Before you agree to internet access service, it’s important that you understand the differences between the services that a commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP) provide, and what LCWA provides. Here are some of the major differences.
- Non-Profit: We are a New Mexico non-profit cooperative; members volunteer time and effort for the benefit of the community.
- You are a Member, not a Customer: By joining LCWA you are now a member of a community of internet users. We expect you to support that community by fixing most inside the house issues yourself, supporting any volunteers you encounter in a friendly and helpful manner, and hopefully becoming a volunteer yourself.
- Radio-Based: Unlike the typical cable network, the LCWA network is delivered by radio signal to a radio on your rooftop. This is what allows us to reach areas of rural Santa Fe county that no one else can reach. However, radio-based networks can be impacted by weather conditions and lightning strikes, so outages do occasionally occur.
- Equipment: You buy, own, and maintain your own equipment with our help. Typically the equipment you require (we supply and invoice) are: a rooftop radio, a radio mount, and our required airCube router.
- Installation: Our volunteers install Wi-Fi internet to one point in your home, usually at no charge. But we do require your help: drilling holes, bolting mounts, configuring your smart devices (TV’s, phones, thermostats, etc.) or installing large-home networks—all of those activities are up to you or your contractors (we can recommend some).
What LCWA Does (and Does Not) Provide
- High-speed Internet Access: LCWA provides its members with basic high-speed continuous internet access. This service is provided under the assumption that the nature of your access is typical of a residential, home office or small office. When you agree to access, you will sign a service agreement that you should read beforehand, particularly if you consider your case to be somewhat atypical. Our speeds are “up to” speeds and are not guaranteed; your speed experience can vary greatly due to many factors.
- Fixed IP Addresses: LCWA offers fixed IP external addresses for our all Internet Access subscribers. However IP-based internet video camera feeds are limited to inside your home.
- Firewall: The LCWA network infrastructure contains a firewall to protect the network from outside intrusions. By default, your home router can be seen from the internet, but outside access is limited by the firewall in most cases.
- Emergency Services: LCWA does not guarantee internet connectivity for emergency and/or essential services connections, not limited to but including 911 and e911 services. Voice Over IP (VOIP) users please read this government message.
- Incoming Mail Service: We do not provide a mail hosting service or email address, but you can use your own over our internet.
- Web Hosting: Not available.
- VPN, FTP, VOIP: We support VPN, FTP, video conferencing, VOIP and other symmetric services, however we are not optimized for any of these.
- Data Usage: Data usage is unlimited. We do not periodically disconnect or time you out.
- Firewall: We firewall your connection.
- LAN Speeds: Transmission rates to and from the internet are set at up to 5, 10, or 20 Mbps depending on the member’s chosen tier. Actual speeds may vary due to radio location, your home router, and other factors.
- SMTP Support: LCWA offers local and Internet-wide SMTP support to our Internet Access subscribers. SMTP service allows you to use our network to send mail to other email recipients anywhere on the internet. This service does not allow you to receive incoming via your own server. You should use another mail server for incoming mail, e.g., Gmail, Yahoo.
What Members Provide
- Signed Membership Agreement.
- Initial Membership Fee of $50.
- We also charge our costs for the radio, mast and other equipment that is required to connect to the LCWA network. This varies by member site.
- The monthly fee is $40 for 5 Mbps service, $50 for 10 Mbps or $60 for 20 Mbps. All speeds are “up to” and can vary due to weather conditions, radio location, your home router, and other factors
- Willingness to volunteer.
- LCWA fees are determined periodically by the association at regular meetings. There are no long-term contracts, or hidden fees.
If your LCWA internet is down or very poor:
How we Solve Your Occasional Internet Issues
After you send details to [email protected] (or leave a voice message), a support person will evaluate your issue and recommend next steps. The more details you give us in your email to us the better. That’s because often we can identify the issue by using our remote diagnosis tools before we contact you. We do this mainly by looking at the quality of the signal to your rooftop radio, but also by looking at your connection history. In any case, you will be contacted within a day or two with next-step recommendations.
Our Family of Volunteers Will Support You
When you get help, it’s probably from a volunteer.
Our volunteers love helping other members when they can. That’s because they appreciate our family of members. If they cannot solve your problem over the phone, they will give suggestions for how you can fix things yourself. If a site repair is needed by others, they will refer you to paid network people that know our systems well.
Note this: we always need more volunteers, so consider volunteering and being part of the fun!
Routers and Other Equipment in Your Home
Many issues can be solved by upgrading your router.
Study our router upgrade recommendations, it may be the quickest way to improve your internet service and find the performance you expect.
About internet speed and how to optimize it.
We often get questions about internet speed, here are some tips
Internet speed with any service provider can vary greatly. It can be influenced by equipment, home electronics, service level, other internet activity in your home, and even by weather!
Read our tips about improving internet speed in your home.
Come to Our Meetings
We have two sets of meetings that are open for All members
First is the weekly member coffee meetings which are fun and informational. Come meet the volunteers and get to know the community!
Second is our monthly board meeting where policy decisions are made and system wide issues discussed and resolved.