Boom! Inc
Project Title Broadband for All - Yap State FSM
Amount Awarded USD 85,000
Dates covered by this report: 2021-12-14 to 2023-12-14
Report submission date 2024-03-28
Economies where project was implemented Micronesia
Project leader name
Lubuw Falanruw

Project Summary

For decades, our citizens were unserved and underserved with little to no access to basic Internet connectivity and had no access to broadband connectivity (at least 25/5Mbps).

A couple of years ago, with assistance from the World Bank and other donors, a submarine cable was laid to connect Yap to the world via high-speed undersea fiber optic cable. Sadly, that connection was not utilized to provide the much-needed broadband connectivity to island residents. Instead, it terminated as dark fiber at the Cable Landing Station, and our island residents, who historically were unserved and underserved in terms of Internet connectivity, remained so.

Boom! Inc. had already begun the arduous task of utilizing this submarine cable connectivity to provide our people with reliable and affordable broadband Internet access. We applied and were accepted as the first private licensed telecommunications company in the FSM.

Since being licensed, in the first six months, Boom! Inc. accomplished the following:

  • Secured wavelength on the SEA-US submarine cable that connects Yap to the Internet.
  • Entered into IP transit agreements for up to 20G of bandwidth for our backhaul to Yap.
  • Constructed and built out a data center/central office in Colonia, the heart of Yap.
  • Executed an Aerial Fiber Optic Cable installation to connect our newly built Data Center to the Landing Station.
  • As a proof of concept, we established the first-ever true broadband connection to one of the few educational institutions on our island, Yap Catholic High School. We were able to not only connect them via fiber optic cable to the Internet, providing them with over 400Mbps up/200Mbps down connectivity, but also install a campus-wide state-of-the-art Wi-Fi network connecting all classrooms and facilities.

Our main objective was to continue the progress we had already begun and realize our goal of providing true broadband Internet access to all on the island state of Yap. This next phase aimed at establishing an island-wide Fixed Wireless Access broadband network.

This project set out to achieve the development of a fixed wireless access (FWA) network on the main island of Yap. Specifically, we accomplished the following:

  • Extended consultation with Wireless experts in the US Mainland to explore various cost-effective options for FWA and various specifications and arrived at the following initial determinations:
    • We used 2.5Ghz spectrum
    • We used 4G LTE initially
    • We used AirSpan hardware with a hybrid core
  • In order to overcome a lack of crucial data to properly determine the best path forward, we purchased the following to set up and generate things like Fresnel coverage maps:
    • Ubiquiti LTU Rocket 
    • Ubiquiti AirMAX sector antenna 
    • Ubiquiti LTU Pro CPEs
  • We also purchased all the hardware required for a very basic single site/single sector FWA setup and shipped it all to Yap consisting of the following:
    • AirHarmony 4000
    • Alpha Wireless AW3406 / 65 degree Antenna (2596-2696Mhz)
    • BEC RidgeWave 6900 CPE
    • BEC 6500AEL router CPE 
    • 25 Sim Cards
  • We purchased Fiber Optic cable and pole mounting hardware to extend the fiber network for backhaul to future 4G LTE sites.

Table of Contents

Background and Justification

For decades, the citizens of Yap, in the Federated States of Micronesia, were unserved and underserved, with little to no access to basic Internet connectivity and, at that time, no access to broadband connectivity.

Many islands, municipalities, villages, and communities were unserved, while in a small area of town, the incumbent Telco, despite being a National Entity, had a monopoly before Boom! Inc. A steady flow of large funds came in from capitalizing on selling services with no service, national funding, and additional funds from other countries. However, these funds never reached our islands, as we were, for the most part, self-sufficient. 

Our mission was to develop digital economies to combat exploitation models. We had already engaged with several companies in the US mainland who pledged a certain number of jobs, beginning with training and job placement, with career path opportunities for our local people, especially our talented youth and the next generations. Our models sought to liberalize Internet access and create a socially responsible structure towards the better development of our place and people.

The team gave free Internet In exchange for using existing AM/FM Towers. They also used fabricated towers that had to be rebuilt from the ground up.

During the COVID lockdowns, remote work, education, communication, and healthcare became essential. While across the Pacific, millions of households did not have adequate connectivity - or any at all - FSM island states understandably fared even worse due to a lack of broadband infrastructure, outmoded Internet technology, and extremely cost-prohibitive connectivity access. By building a broadband infrastructure on Yap - coupled with the latest FWA broadband technology - our citizens were given assurance that in a national or global emergency, public services were still delivered, and economic impact remained manageable.

Boom! Inc. is a unique company made up of sons and daughters of Micronesia who had come together to develop a thriving digital economy that would allow our State to become self-sufficient and prosperous. Up until that time, most economic opportunities presented to our island leaders had been development plans such as Mega Casinos, Commercial Fisheries, and Manufacturing Enterprises that were speculative and highly destructive to our precious island communities, environment, and way of life.

Our region suffered greatly from "brain drain" in which our citizens felt that they must leave our shores to better their lives financially. We were motivated to combat that by establishing viable options that provided financial security while allowing them to remain within our islands. Boom! Inc. had proposed a viable alternative that created a multifaceted digital economy that strengthened our economy, healthcare system, education, and society. This digital economy could only be implemented and succeed if all our island residents had access to true broadband connectivity at affordable rates. That foundation was key to our long-term project goals.

Members of the team during installation of towers and equipment

This FWA network laid the foundation needed for a myriad of Internet Developments we had for our islands.

With reliable broadband Internet connectivity, health, education, and economic solutions could then be enabled. We invested in capital assets that truly linked our citizens jointly to telemedicine, health monitoring, education/training, and jobs. This was aimed at enabling local talent and professionals on Yap to access good-paying remote jobs online, thus opening up income streams to families and individuals who were otherwise left with limited or no employment options. Broadband connectivity was also used as a tool to augment the voices of our people, to represent their needs, and to bring true solutions to our islands.

Use Of Traditional Sailing Canoes to transfer Wireless Gear & Dishes to Remote Unserved Islands. 19 Schools, 17 Clinics were connected for the first time - they never had phones previously.

Areas of Use

Yap leaders believed that broadband Internet access should be a fundamental right and, therefore, vigorously placed priority on this plan to develop a network that would give our citizens broadband Internet access to essential services such as telemedicine and tele-education at no cost.

1. In service of our people

As a local government unit operating on a remote island, we could no longer afford to be left behind. A seamless Internet technology filled the gaps, allowed real-time ability for data analysis and data-based decision-making, and enhanced multiple functions in serving our people. A streamlined government operation brought about a more efficient, effective, and empowered Yap.

2. Health

Broadband connectivity was fundamental to the health and welfare of our citizens. At the time, given our remote location, it was difficult or impossible to reach doctors and specialists to get quality treatment. Utilizing telehealth helped alleviate the lack of medical professionals on the island and provided self-help and self-management solutions to those with chronic ailments.

With Telemedicine, excellent healthcare was made accessible to our citizens: from interactive online consultations, remote patient monitoring, and seeking guidance for chronic disease management, we gave the people of Yap a chance to enjoy quality healthcare. With the then-recent Covid pandemic, telemedicine had never been more timely and relevant.

3. Education

Broadband connectivity allowed for expanded educational opportunities, not only for connectivity needed at a local level but for higher educational pursuits of our citizens via online universities and trade institutes.

With Tele-education, local Yap talents had the opportunity to 1- receive training from the finest experts/trainers around the world, 2- trainees can learn at their own pace remotely on Yap, 3- access to all necessary literature/learning materials is easily available, 4- training fees are cheaper compared to conventional in-person programs, 5-communication between trainer-trainee/teacher-student can be done in various ways (email, chat, video call), 6- learning is customized, and, 7- student progress monitoring is individualized. Online education enabled students to learn without the great expense and social disruption of traveling far away. This helped make education locally relevant and helped maintain and integrate new knowledge with our Pacific cultural values.

Today, we have two individuals out in the most remote outer atoll island of Ulithi, completing their "MASTER'S DEGREE". This is a incredible and very measurable proof of proof...not concepts. 

4. Employment

Broadband connectivity brought international presence to our shores, enabling individuals and local businesses to expand beyond the home market. Seamless Internet serviced clients across multiple islands while capturing global revenues.

With Online Jobs available to Yap, we can have a robust and productive employment pool that brings in revenue to the state. Stable Internet connectivity creates jobs, brings in economic opportunities, and introduces sustainable income-generating strategies and projects that could be carried out without depleting local natural resources.

5. Businesses

Broadband connectivity allowed a fully unified communications system that boosted productivity and efficiency for small and medium businesses, companies, and organizations on the island.

Enabling solutions through broadband connectivity benefited families, villages, and communities by boosting their economic condition and improving their quality of life. It was very clear to us that, aside from the known benefits to health and education, this network was the foundation required (and urgently needed) to develop a digital economy for our islands – an economy that fosters self-sufficiency and sustainability especially amidst the then-current health crisis and in generations to come.

All progress in Yap from the onset of this project was done exclusively with Yap-based citizens and remote technical training and assistance due to a complete border shutdown for the 2 years of the pandemic.

Project Implementation Narrative

Below are before-and-after screenshots of speed tests demonstrating the necessity and outcomes of the arduous task of building an almost 100% self-built fiber backhaul network, from end to end, with miles of oceans in between - only to find more gaps during the process that were beyond our scope.

The 'before' speed test screenshot
A speed test screenshot from 'before' the project commenced.
The 'after' speed test screenshot
A speed test screenshot from 'after' the project.

Since being licensed, in the first six months, Boom! Inc. was able to accomplish the following:

  • Secured wavelength on the SEA-US submarine cable that connected Yap to the Internet.
  • Entered into IP transit agreements for up to 20G of bandwidth for our backhaul to Yap.- Constructed and built out a data center/central office in Colonia, the heart of Yap.
  • Executed an Aerial Fiber Optic Cable installation to connect our newly built Data Center to the Landing Station.

As a proof of concept, we established the first-ever true broadband connection to one of the few educational institutions on our island, Yap Catholic High School. We not only connected them via fiber optic cable to the Internet, providing them with over 400Mbps up/400Mbps down connectivity but also installed a campus-wide state-of-the-art Wi-Fi network connecting all classrooms and facilities.

Our main objective is to continue the progress we had already begun and realize our goal of providing true broadband Internet access to the entire Island State of Yap. The next phase will be aimed at establishing the biggest impact island-wide Fixed Wireless Access broadband network.

Beginning of Project

Purchase all Equipment and Ship to YapMake all purchases of materials needed and ship to Yap.2
EPC Server InstallationInstall all hardware in Central Office and Configure1

Middle of Project

Run Fiber BackhaulRun fiber optic cable backhaul from Central Office to radio towers.2
Install RANMount and install RAN at 3 locations in Yap.1

End of Project

CPE Installationsinstall CPEs in 50 initial community service locations.3
Final Testing and ConfigurationRun final tests and make any configuration adjustments based on connectivity to initial community service locations.1
ActivationAllow island-wide sign-ups in all properly covered locations.1
Begin Next PhaseBased on all data from this FWA roll-out, next phase will include the expansion of the RAN network if needed to ensure full coverage. It will also include recommendations for any terrestrial fiber runs.1

Project Indicators

Backhaul Fiber Installation, 12 miles by December 2022Completed
54 Fiber Gpon Broadband Sites Connected by September 2022Completed
Intermediate LTU FWA Set-upCompleted
7 Public Schools Served via FWACompleted
Procured, Purchased, and Installed two Primary Tower's, 3 Sector 4GLTE Radio's eachCompleted

The project also went above and beyond the original indicators to connect an additional 16 schools.

IndicatorBackhaul Fiber Installation, 12 miles by December 2022
Status: Completed
Start and End Dates: November 8, 2021
Baseline: Prior to the start of this project there was no fiber optic infrastructure in pace on Yap's main island.
Activities: We purchased materials and sent to Yap. Trained ground team on installation and splicing. They installed initial run from the CLS to our Data Center. We have since ran fiber throughout the heart of Colonia. Installed 8 miles of AFOC.
Outcomes: Not only have we set in place the proper fiber optic backhaul network we will use for our FWA LTE network but we have been able to use that fiber install to connect a multitude of site via a wired broadband connection to a new GPON network we have laid out. Total AFOC install planned 12 miles.
Indicator54 Fiber Gpon Broadband Sites Connected by September 2022
Status: Completed
Start and End Dates: November 15, 2021
Baseline:Yap state was initially unserved with no access to true broadband connections.
Activities: We have been able to setup a GPON network and utilize the fiber backhaul network to begin connecting sites throughout Yap with true broadband connections.
Outcomes: So far we have connected 34 locations with broadband via GPON. We hope to connect another 30 by July 2022. We have connected three sites with broadband via LTU wireless. We have used this to generate Fresnel Maps and test wireless capabilites. We have not connected any LTE sites as of yet. We plan to connect 120 sites with broadband via FWA LTE by September 2022.
IndicatorIntermediate LTU FWA Set-up
Status: Completed
Start and End Dates: January 18, 2022 to February 1, 2022
Baseline:No LTU FWA network existed.
Activities: In order to get a better idea of the landscape and topography of the island we have decided to install a more economical LTU wireless set up that will give up real time fresnel and elevation data based on CPE placement in relation to our main radio.
Outcomes: We have been able to situate the CPEs at various locations throughout the island in the main Bay Area and analyze data through the NMS online.
Indicator7 Public Schools Served via FWA
Status: Completed
Start and End Dates: to September 20, 2023
Description: We have aggressively used our 2 main fiber backhauled tower's, 3 Baicell Radio Sector's each, due to inability to extend our fiber network, with lack of law's enforced and incumbent monopolizing the poles.
Baseline: No public schools had connectivity prior to our work.
Activities: The only one school prior to this was the Private St. Mary's High School, one of our best schools in the state, which we connected early on during our first Fiber lay, and they were on the way, so we hooked them up.
Outcomes: 8 Schools on main island of Yap, 1 via Gpon Fiber connection, the other 7 we have been able to connect via our two tower's, however a dozen remain to be connected, but funds have been spent, and these other schools need either additional use of the other two towers we have built up, but need another round of 6 Radio sector's to be purchased in next phase, pending funding support. We have also gone above and beyond, and connected 19 schools thru our outer islands, along with tele-med satellite clinics. These locations are via VSat, but are the first time ever that they have been connected (they have never had traditional phones even up to this point). Again, see attached final report.
IndicatorProcured, Purchased, and Installed two Primary Tower's, 3 Sector 4GLTE Radio's each
Status: Completed
Start and End Dates: May 17, 2022 to September 20, 2023
Description: Secured 5 existing and fabricated/refurbished towers. 2 are the most impactful ones based on location, and focus was placed on those two. 7 Baicell Radio Sectors purchased, installed, tested.
Baseline:No broadband wireless was available on main island. 3G service from National Incumbent only barely worked 95% of the time, despite billing high fee's upfront, regardless of service.
Activities: See final report attached.
Outcomes: Over 20 schools connected, and 19 remote unserved medical clinics connected for the first time.

Project Review and Assessment

We made great headway in laying the initial foundation for a wireless network in Yap.

One of our early on challenges were narrowing down the specific equipment that would achieve our goal with extremely limited data (RF Studies, etc.) and the complete lockdown of Yap borders, which persisted even until the closure of the project. Thankfully, we overcame these challenges by working closely with partners in the US Mainland (Mural.Net, i9 Tech, etc.) to make educated assessments with our limited data. We also further developed our ground team stationed in Yap with oversight from our remote team members.

While we moved forward on the equipment purchases and shipments for the FWA network, our ground team extended our fiber network throughout Yap, anticipating laying the groundwork for the RAN Backhaul. That installation was an aerial fiber install that passed through the heart of our island. Due to the proximity and anticipated wait time for the FWA rollout, we began doing fiber drops to all government locations along the route, along with specific key locations with the potential for the most positive impact of broadband connection (i.e., Colonia Wellness Center, Waab Shipping Co., etc.). To date, we connected over 30 locations with broadband Internet.We also ran into costly delays on our ability to extend our fiber backhaul, due to poles being monopolized, as well as mistakes/handling of our spectrum licenses (granted before, revoked, and then granted 11th hr). Despite law's that were meant to help new entrance, we found many challenges with enforcements. 

Another challenge we did not anticipate; was a hike in immediate demand's of public service offices; as there were challenges, however we can only assume, with the incumbent's Telco in their rush to transition to Fiber and laying fiber to monopolized poles (despite against regulations), service was severely impacted. We found ourselves putting out connectivity fire's and scope increased tremendously, despite not having chance of proper paperwork and billing in order. We are in process of working this challenge thru, as the time delays all around allowed many to be put into long term contracts. Progress is slow but being made on this.

Our current challenge is we have been land locked with our Fiber backhaul, lack of enforcement to access existing fiber strung through the island preventing us to lay our own, and our spectrum license had to be compromised from 2+ years of notices for 40Mghz based on gear & R&D for maximum expansion over air. We continue to work along side our National agencies, their advisors/consultants, and regulators on this, while we continue to seek funds to shore up our remaining large gaps to expand service to. Progress is being made, but we have ran out of our own funds as well. We would need 6 more sectors of radio gear/towers, and have come up with a plan for more fiber backhaul. Funding is what is left. 

These are some specific names of connections (not complete list).

  • iBoom! Hilltop Data Center
  • iBoom! Headquarters
  • iBoom! Central Office
  • iBoom! Bay Area Innovation Center
  • Yap Catholic High School
  • Governor's Office
  • Yap State Legislature
  • Pacific Mission Aviation (PMA)
  • Sea Transportation Office
  • Yap State Court House
  • FSM Supreme Court - Yap
  • Council of Pilung
  • Colonia Wellness Center
  • Division of Land Resources
  • Yap Congressional Delegation Office
  • Department of Education - Admin Office
  • Yap Special Education Office
  • Adabai's Enterprise
  • Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF)
  • ESA Bay View Hotel
  • Immigration Office
  • Office Place
  • Palau Shipping Co
  • Waab Shipping Co
  • Weather Service Office Yap
  • Yap Chamber of Commerce
  • Yap Community Action Program
  • Yap Small Business Development Center
  • Yap Visitors Bureau
  • FSMTCC Main Office
  • FSMTCC CLS location
  • Okeefe's Water Front Inn
  • Beyond the Reef
  • Police Station

Aside from the basic connectivity aspect, our goal in connecting these strategic accounts was to initiate the next phase of our long-term goal and start the development of applications that could foster a digital economy, enhance education, and improve health systems.

To overcome the challenges of limited region-specific wireless data, we installed an initial wireless LTU device at our hilltop data center and attached a sector antenna. This, coupled with a few CPEs, allowed us to generate data (Fresnel maps, etc.) that we used to determine which LTE hardware we needed.

We spent a significant amount of time, and with overhead growing each month, we conducted R&D from scratch. We requested various wireless kits, and each one took months to reach us. If one part was missing, it added more delayed months. We explored options from Samsung, AirHarmony, and Nokia, and finally settled on Baicells, primarily due to attention and our CEO's limited self-bootstrapped funds. Just settling on a solution consumed time and costs. Additionally, procurement and purchase exacerbated the process. 

Despite our focus being on much needed applications that need not only Internet connectivity to the most remote unserved home islands and communities; we also knew we would be facing a National Monopoly entity and expected challenges. We have too many battles and war stories; that span from politics to our Cable Landing Station locks being cut and changed on us. However, in addition to facing those common Telco monopoly stories that we are sure everyone similar to our circumstances have faced; we also faced a more crippling form of a monopoly; for a lack of a better way to explain this; we call it the top heavy large funded "system". It is inevitable that large intuitional bank grant funds comes with attraction towards use of those funds; and instead of bottom up approach, these valuable funds are challenged with top level ineffective middle men or lack of leadership or a unhealthy combination of both; that can monopolize progress and real actions on the ground and in the communities that desperately need it. This can create false expectations, delays, and ultimately can dismantle the original goal's of said National valuable resources & grants. We experience lack of urgency; or a key metric which should be in place from the start; accountability and as they say "time to market", however, in our case, it is "time to humanity needs & real progress".  

However, we proved we can execute under the most challenging circumstances; on our own, but at great costs. Taking matters into our own hands also proved itself to be the most effective method of training local capacity. We also gained valuable insights from testing various gears and understanding which technology works best in our Pacific Islands, still very rich in jungle and foliage of which spectrums are very sensitive. 

Most painful lessons have been learned; we can no longer assume that what we were told or directed to do is the truth. Our mission, marked by Milestone 1 in establishing the highest standards of broadband connectivity to address the digital divide and level the playing field, aimed to empower our people to develop themselves with their own blueprints, despite seemingly insurmountable odds. We recognized many factors in our favor but also felt a profound obligation – "if not us, then who? If not now, then when?"

It became imperative to question the "whys" and not accept the initial "no" or "it cannot be done." Retraining minds to question everything until it is unequivocally confirmed in black-and-white revealed that often the source of truths contradicts our initial beliefs. Thus, "no stone unturned" became one of our mottos. Challenging the status quo and overcoming complacency had to be approached respectfully, patiently, and through a committed process. Actions, not words, became our currency and the only way forward. While this made celebrating giant wins challenging, we decided not to celebrate until the service was in the hands of our people. No PR for support until then, making it a very lonely process.

We learned also that struggles herald creativity and our difficult experiences could be channelled towards innovation and a greater vision in this space. Rather than succumbing to "victimization", we sought opportunities. Consequently, we are building a platform as a service for other communities, states, and nations facing similar challenges, preventing them from reinventing the wheel.

  • We spent a considerable amount of time aligning ourselves with National Agencies and Consultants, who heavily relied on us to meet their metrics for the large grants they received. However, this collaboration left us empty-handed. This unique experience, perhaps specific to us, became a form of monopoly; time, focus, and funds were diverted elsewhere, ultimately crippling our personal resources, team, and 24/7 efforts that could have been avoided had we focused on ourselves.
  • The silver lining is that we proved "local capacity" is attainable upfront. We are now more driven with conviction, challenging the traditional practice of allocating the majority of funds to outsiders for the "intelligent work" and saving the bidding for "civil labor" work. This practice hinders solutions to the main objectives, specifically the need for a key performance indicator that includes "time to market" or, in this case, "time to humanitarian needs." Our sense of urgency stems from our local knowledge, knowing the applications needed to bridge the digital divide.
  • Another significant risk lies in the lack of transparency from a "Top Down" approach, creating a disconnect between those in action; and decisions were made without involvement from the top. This disconnect can cripple business plans and hinder a fair competitive environment, even though our mission clearly underlies: "There is nothing to compete over." We pursue this mission for local capacity development and to raise the standards of the digital divide to become stronger stewards of our future.
  • Our current risk is a short runway, where we must achieve our service cashflow goals in the next month or two before our cash-on-hand runs out. We have no other choice.

We are still far from servicing the unserved, having survived and worked through the most challenging aspects of bringing broadband connectivity to our most remote island communities. We were so close, yet still feel so far. 

Looking ahead, as we establish broader connectivity into the hands of all our people, our next phase in communications involves the digitization of communications at both private community levels and broader public channels. 


Despite what many would say would have been impossible, despite all odds; 

  • We lit up our own dark fiber during Covid, expanded our terrestrial network, almost entirely on our own, and with the blessings of a very small handful of outside experts 'by standers'. We proved we can execute with local capacities, from the beginning, and also proved that is the most effective method of developing our own people simultaneously. We proved the old status quo of waiting for other's, is old school. 
  • We have active Tele-med and Tele-ed in action today, where when we started, there were not even any basic phone or other means of communications to the underserved communities. In fact, we have two people out in our most remote outer islands about to complete their master's degree. We have several dozens of these similar stories. 
  • Our work so far, has increased Internet access, speeds, and reach by nearly 3,000%. The entire Yap state prior, would cap out at 500Mbs at the busiest time and only servicing a few. That was the entire state. Today, each individual connection, easily hits and exceeds 500Mbs both download and upload. This opens the giant opportunities into the cloud, where as before, nothing over the Internet was no where real time.  

Diversity and Inclusion

As we connected more and more of the residents of our island to broadband Internet, the connection to the outside world alone provided a platform for empowerment and inclusion, not only for women, physically challenged individuals, and LGBTQI+ but for all our citizens.

We observed that our FSM Citizens had been marginalized, especially concerning perceived technical abilities and capabilities. Reflecting on the strides made over the past year, one of the most impactful achievements was destroying the common mindset that all technical development on our islands could only be achieved by flying in outside contractors to do the work. Not only were our own citizens able to do ALL the technical work thus far, but their indigenous wisdom allowed for unique and novel approaches along the way. We had already begun to inspire our citizens.

Because this project was handled on the ground by a 100% local team, we married the customs, culture, and language in every aspect.

It is also important to note that our local ground management was led by a strong and intelligent local woman.

Project Communication

Our team on the ground periodically updated our stakeholders through the "coconut wireless," not because it was required but because it was customary and promoted inclusion and unification. We have formed a partnership with our local media government division, as well.

The key take away is that while we were diligent and perhaps bullish in developing and utilizing our local people & resources, training on connectivity especially in the field tech area's; we also need to shore up on other area's such as growing/expanding our local capacities for project management, finance/budget management, and adding more systems for standard operating procedures. This is currently being shored up. Especially when working with grants. We have done a good job in isolating funds specific to our grant's requirements, but we need to put in systems in place that can allow for near real time communications to all applicable stakeholder's; so costs, scope, and challenges are addressed in timely manner. 

As it relates to working with our Government; we have had great support from our local Government; and we need to continue to advocate transparency at larger scale where actions or decisions could create a ripple effect; and continue providing strong feedback on consequences; that can lead to challenges we can share or a huge progress forward. 

We started from bottom up approach; and we excel with knowledge in the practice of our own culture; where we seek permission from all communities before embarking on projects. Adoption and local support has been a blessing. 

Project Sustainability

Everything we do always starts with communication to our islands communities, leadership both Gov and traditional, etc. to first gain buy in. This has proven to be successful. We dont take action, unless our purpose and intentions are well known and understood, and blessings are given first. 

Giant opportunities have opened up, and we are actively working with local stakeholder's on funding so we are sustainable, and closing in on that effort. We are also trying to beef up our grant's management resources as well, however, with self sustainability models always in place to achieve. 

As the majority of us in the company are sons and daughters of our islands, we recognized the importance of creating a local team. However, with borders closed due to COVID just before our CEO's return to Yap, we faced challenging communication barriers critical for establishing our team culture. This unprecedented situation in our region led us to rely on snail mail communications until we miraculously lit up our own dark fiber and gear.

Our initial focus was on the internal team, where we adopted best practices (Rockefeller Habits) and utilized remote tools. This was crucial for our team's effectiveness, as we also needed them to update and maintain cultural communications with our communities, government leaders, and, most importantly, our Council of Chiefs, who had placed great trust in us.

Before executing our plans, starting in 2019, we met with each of our four branches of leadership to present our plans and seek their blessings. This initial starting point greatly helped us navigate through the challenges of remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Project Management

Project Management was divided into a remote management team and a ground management team. Due to the locked borders, there was no opportunity for our remote team to enter Yap. This presented a real challenge, but one that we overcame.

Project Recommendations and Use of Findings

As described through this report, we have gone above and beyond all expectations. Project lessons are seen through ought our progress reports and this final report. We need to balance out our 'actions' with sustainable funding and budgeting and management across all lanes. 

We also need to take a much bolder approach with rest of our National Government and put as much energy in help steering, as we do on the ground with actions. It takes a village, and we need everyone on the same page first; bottom up and top down. 

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