Santa Cruz Tech Beat

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County of Santa Cruz invites residents to a Broadband Service Forum

(Contributed)

September 11, 2018 — Santa Cruz, CA

Continuing efforts to expand high-speed Internet service throughout Santa Cruz County, the County of Santa Cruz is pleased to invite residents to a Broadband Service Forum where residents can directly hear from local broadband providers about upcoming services.

  • Broadband Service Forum
  • September 18, 6-8pm, 2018
  • Felton Community Hall, 6191 Highway 9, Felton, CA
  • Confirmed participants: AT&T, Comcast, Cruzio, Etheric Networks and Surfnet

Hosted by Supervisor Bruce McPherson, the forum will provide residents a brief overview of County efforts to expand broadband and introductions by broadband providers, followed by a chance for residents to interact face-to-face with providers to learn more about existing offerings and future expansion plans. Confirmed participants include AT&T, Comcast, Cruzio, Etheric Networks and Surfnet.

“Access to information is becoming as important as access to basic utilities, such as electricity and water. Making sure all residents have universal access to broadband services is an issue of basic social and economic equality,” Andy Constable, Santa Cruz County Economic Development Manager.

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors and Santa Cruz County Office for Economic Development have worked to improve broadband infrastructure throughout Santa Cruz County. In 2014, the Board adopted a “Dig Once” ordinance, and the OED has surveyed residents to map broadband deficiencies to solicit provider access improvements. (www.santacruzcounty.us/Departments/EconomicDevelopment/BroadbandSurvey.aspx)

Broadband development has a range of beneficial uses, from public safety to economic development to health care delivery to home entertainment. However, service gaps remain despite billions of dollars of annual investments from the telecom industry.

The County has taken a leading role in identifying solutions to close those gaps. The Broadband Service Forum will further the County’s efforts by connecting providers directly with potential customers in an effort to expand access.

A second forum is in the planning stages.

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