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Frequently asked questions about Santa Cruz Fiber
What’s fiber? Is it the same as Gigabit?
Fiber — short name for "fiber optics" — is the method by which Gigabit speeds are delivered. Fiber is like having a huge, fast, environmentally benign highway for your data to travel on. A Gig, or Gigabit, refers to a thousand megabits per second, the gold standard for speed today, though fiber can deliver much more. A Gig is what the new network would start by providing, and it’s about 200 times faster than what you’re probably getting now. Want to know how and why fiber works? Here’s a good source.
What’s the Santa Cruz Fiber project about?
Cruzio and the City of Santa Cruz share a common interest: getting high-speed, low-cost internet to citizens throughout the City. We are exploring working together towards this goal. Our idea is to have a public-private partnership (PPP) in which Cruzio supplies our expertise and customer service to a community-owned network. We are working on the details of how that could work. One thing we know: it won’t happen until we know that people want it. Fill out a survey at santacruzfiber.com!
Is this like Google Fiber?
The internet speed and the price will be similar — faster and lower cost if possible. Gigabit fiber is a “game changer” in Kansas City and it will be in Santa Cruz, too.
How is it different from Google Fiber?
Instead of Google owning the fiber, we plan that the citizens of Santa Cruz will own it. And the offerings will be somewhat different; we plan to start with an internet-only service, no phone or TV.
Who’s getting rich here?
No one. As the plan stands, the City of Santa Cruz will own a new and valuable utility, similar to water mains or electrical lines. Cruzio will rent lines from the City and offer them at competitive prices. There is not a lot of fat in this arrangement, but it can pay for the infrastructure to be built and sustained.
What if I don’t live in the City?
This project just covers the City of Santa Cruz, but Cruzio has customers all over Santa Cruz County and we’re very concerned about reaching everyone. We hope this project will be a good start on providing even more of our customers with fiber or fiber-level infrastructure. Let us know you are interested; we are keeping track of demand and building out our network accordingly.
It’s going to take a few years to build this network. What if I need faster internet right now?
Cruzio would love to hear from you. We already offer up-to-gigabit speeds in many parts of Santa Cruz County. Go to broadband.cruzio.com and we’ll get in touch with you.
Aren’t there other, more important things the City should be doing?
Yes, and the City is not diverting resources from other areas. This project will pay for itself from its own revenues or it won’t be built — no taxes or assessments or diversions from other expenditures are in our plan. That’s why we need a lot of people to sign up. The Gigabit network will contribute to the economic health of our area, helping the community to pay for other things, which is why the Economic Development Office is participating. And honestly, the internet is pretty important to people these days — less vital than food and shelter, certainly, but up there. People of all stripes use the internet to inform and express themselves, to run their businesses and non-profits, for entertainment and communication. It’s become a big part of our lives and it should be affordable and plentiful — which, right now, in Santa Cruz, it isn’t.
Is Cruzio locally owned and operated?
How many surveys do we need filled out to go ahead with the project?
We are hoping for about 2,000.
How many signups do we need?
We need over 35% of residents to sign up for the service to justify the cost of building it. So tell your neighbors and friends to take the survey and, when it's time, sign up!
Won’t the big companies compete with us? Will they squash the project?
If the cable and phone companies finally start building decent infrastructure in our area and competing, that’s not the worst thing in the world. We plan to have service so fast and prices so low that we’re un-squashable.
Will this network follow “Network Neutrality” principles?
What will prices be like?
We will keep prices in a similar range to what people are currently paying, just offer a hundred+ times more bandwidth. We know that in order to get enough customers to support the construction, we will have to keep prices affordable, so all our models have pretty low prices.
This means my taxes are going up!
No, it’s being paid for by its own revenues.
Aren’t governments terrible at this kind of thing?
Governments are good at ensuring fair distribution of important infrastructure, which this project will do. Governments aren’t experts at providing internet services, but Cruzio is. That’s why this is a great partnership.
Why do I have to give my address and phone number? What are you going to do with them?
In order to build the network in an affordable way, we need to build it fast. We don’t want to have to start the process all over again with a vague idea of interested parties. When you say you’re interested in fiber, we know you’re serious and we’ll contact you when we start construction. You don’t have to order it; that’s your choice later. And Cruzio won’t share your personal information with marketing firms or other parties. We will only use it to get fiber to the City of Santa Cruz.
What can I do to help this project?
Fill out the survey, sign up to be a champion, place an order when it’s available, and tell your neighbors!
Are we building all over the City of Santa Cruz, for real?
For real. But we need to get enough signups.
What neighborhoods will get built first?
High rates of signups will move neighborhoods up in priority. Other factors will matter, too, including how close a neighborhood is to the hub and how many barriers are in the way. The best way to get your neighborhood ahead in priority is to get lots of people to tell us they’re interested.
How fast will you build?
We hope to have the network constructed in about 3 years.
Isn’t that fast?
Yes. That’s how we hope to make it affordable. If we build and sign up folks quickly we can keep prices low.
What if I don’t sign up right away?
Don’t count on the project getting built if you don’t sign up!