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The Sentinel missed the mark: Santa Cruz Fiber project is still very much on track

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By Robert Singleton, Santa Cruz Fiber, and James Hackett, Cruzio.

May 11, 2017 — Santa Cruz, CA

We all make mistakes, and no one is perfect, even our normally steadfast local paper. However, the Sentinel missed the mark in their recent article lamenting the loss of a deal between Cruzio and the City of Santa Cruz to build a city-wide fiber network. Not only is the Santa Cruz Fiber project not “dead” as the article incorrectly stated, this week City Council approved two measures that will greatly improve the project’s chances of success.

First, one thing the article did get right: Cruzio is already building the first “fiberhood,” and serving businesses and residences in downtown Santa Cruz. This is the first phase of the much larger network providing low-cost fiber internet service to all City residents.

This week city council also approved a plan that will connect City-owned facilities with fiber — an excellent idea, and one we’ve urged the City to develop for years. Since both the City and Cruzio are now building fiber, we can leverage each other’s investment and coverage capacity to do more at a lower cost.

City council also approved a “dig once” policy which means anytime someone needs to open up the street to do construction, other interested parties are given the opportunity to join the project, saving money and minimizing the impact on the community. This is the kind of sensible and practical public policy that is critical to building out open and independent internet infrastructure.

So yes, the Sentinel got this one wrong. Cruzio is committed to working with the City in providing broadband access to the whole community and the City remains committed to working with a trusted local partner to achieve this shared goal. Our first neighborhood is scheduled to be completed by this fall and then we will come back to the City with a larger plan for success. Our hope is that they will be receptive, and we can move forward with gigabit fiber to the rest of the city. Now that’ll be something worth writing about.

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