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Studying Fiber in Austin

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By Peggy Dolgenos
Co-founder of Cruzio

April 21, 2016 — Santa Cruz, CA

(Photo above: Doing its diligence: City of Santa Cruz staff attended dozens of sessions on the ins and outs of fiberoptic networks at a conference about municipal broadband in Austin, Texas. Credit: Cruzio)

The City of Santa Cruz is taking a lead in securing gigabit Internet for all its citizens. That’s a big deal.

The goal, according to Cruzio’s insightful director, James Hackett, is for people not to notice how fast their Internet is.

It will be like electricity,” Hackett says. “You don’t ask how many amps a house has before moving in. There’s enough. When we’ve finished our project, every house in Santa Cruz can have enough Internet.”

And as for the infrastructure, the plan is for the the citizens to own it, without taxes or assessment or fees on people who aren’t using it.

The latest progress is that representatives from Cruzio and the City of Santa Cruz attended a conference in Austin, Texas early this month about municipal broadband — a trend which has been encouraged by President Obama and Commissioner Wheeler of the FCC. Other cities would like to be where Santa Cruz is now. Many cities our size have nothing in place and are eager to learn what we’re doing: J Guevara from the City of Santa Cruz Economic Development Office and James Hackett from Cruzio both spoke on panels.

A dozen employees from the City and Cruzio attended many training sessions and discussions. We sat through a vast number of mostly interesting sessions. We met with vendors and heard from cities like Kansas City and Westminster who’ve been building fiber networks themselves. We asked questions and got pricing. We learned a lot.

Plus, we had a great time in Austin, Texas — the perfect place for us Santa Cruzans because they do include vegetarian options in their barbecue menus — but we are glad to be home and now putting our knowledge to work.

Please continue supporting us! If you haven’t yet, please take the survey at SantaCruzFiber.com to show us where people would like to see citizen-owned fiber networks.

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