Equal Access Santa Cruz Brings Fiber Optic Infrastructure to Capitola Area

 

  • Cruzio Internet

SANTA CRUZ, CA — Cruzio, an independent ISP serving Santa Cruz County, was awarded a $2.45 million broadband grant from the California Advanced Services Fund to build high-speed fiber optic internet connectivity to seven underserved mobile home parks in the Capitola area of Santa Cruz County, CA. Although situated only a few miles from Silicon Valley, many communications “deserts” persist around Santa Cruz County with internet speeds that don't meet FCC standards. Cruzio identified seven such communities in mid-County that are now served with fiber-to-the-home connections.

Cruzio wasn't alone in recognizing the need for better internet in lower-income communities. Member of Congress Jimmy Panetta, State Assembly Member Mark Stone, County Supervisors Zach Friend and John Leopold, Capitola City Manager Jamie Goldstein and many other elected officials and community leaders helped move the project forward.

When Cruzio started building the Santa Cruz Fiber network, Santa Cruz County was rated 446 out of 501 California cities for internet speeds. Too small to attract investment from big ISPs and too populated for rural subsidy programs, the county struggled with neglected infrastructure.

In years past, Cruzio and other independent ISPs had mostly relied on leased AT&T lines built in an earlier, highly regulated, era. But the big ISPs were using a lack of competition to save costs, letting local wires age and fray. The only path forward for local providers was to move away from that aging network and start building independent infrastructure. Now Cruzio has a considerable — and growing — network serving thousands of local residents and bringing better options to the community. The grant takes a big step towards that goal.

 

 

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