Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Cruzio’s Master Plan for broadband expansion in Santa Cruz County

by James Hackett

With the news last week that the long-planned CASF-backed fiber backbone from Santa Cruz to Soledad — a project that InternetCruzio has worked on for years and spearheaded in an earlier incarnation — we thought it would be a good time to talk a little about Cruzio’s Master Plan for broadband expansion in Santa Cruz County.

Where we stand

Four years ago, when Cruzio lit our fiber path from downtown Santa Cruz to Silicon Valley, heretofore unavailable bandwidth speeds and pricing immediately came available in a small area. We opened Cruzioworks coworking to immediately connect people and businesses to that fiber, then we set about building out our footprint.

Since then we’ve used a strategic combination of fiber and high-capacity cutting-edge wireless technology to grow our network into all of downtown Santa Cruz and out to 41st Avenue, the Westside, Scotts Valley and Watsonville. We’re just getting started.

What’s next?

1. More bandwidth in more places

We’re already serving Watsonville with high-capacity broadband, but the new backbone fiber that’s going in will mean we can connect that area, and areas in between, directly to the firehose of Internet we have in Santa Cruz. The long-haul fiber basically acts as a worm hole — suddenly we can distribute service to businesses in downtown Watsonville, as if they we sitting in an office in Cruzioworks.

2. More fiber in the ground

The Sunesys long-haul fiber isn’t the only fiber set to get built over the next couple of years. Cruzio is already planning new fiber builds out to the Westside, into Harvey West and along the Soquel corridor. In addition, we’ll be building “laterals” (branches joining to the Sunesys middle-mile finer) to connect areas along the route. We’re looking at places we can start building laterals now so when the long-haul path lights up, those areas will be lit up the same day.

3. More broadband hubs

877 Cedar St, our downtown headquarters and the hub of our network, has proved a terrific success. Our 40+ offices are full, our coworking space is buzzing and our data center is humming with hardware powering dozens of local businesses and startups. We want to recreate this model wherever we build out the fiber. The more hubs we have, the more robust our network. And if we can add Cruzio-certified buildings , server centers and coworking/community spaces at key junctions, we provide easy access to the broadband, and spur economic growth in those areas.

4. More creative partnerships, public and private

We love being part of the Santa Cruz community, and we have great relationships with hundreds of businesses, non-profits and community organizations. We worked closely with UCSC on our original fiber build, and continued to do so on this latest build and other projects. The Central Coast Broadband Consortium – led by the powerful team of Steve Blum and Joel Staker – has proved to be an invaluable resource. As awareness of the importance of modern broadband grows, our partnerships with the Cities and County of Santa Cruz have also grown. We have very high hopes for the ways these partnerships, and others with local organizations and anchor broadband consumers, can help us all grow out our network faster and stronger.

If you want to learn more about Cruzio’s broadband plans, drop us a line at


Sara Isenberg publishes Santa Cruz Tech Beat for the benefit of the extended business and technology community. When she is not volunteering her time for the tech scene, Sara makes her living by managing software projects, web strategy planning, and providing development team services (including account management, vendor management, strategic partner management, beta project management, referrals to qualified technical team members, and more). Please visit her website: Sara Isenberg Web Consulting & Project Management, or contact Sara by email if you have any project management, account management, or Development Team leadership or service needs.

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