2017 has been another amazing year for us here at Cruzio. Whether it’s growing our fiber-backed wireless network, or taking the massive first steps toward building our Santa Cruz Fiber network in the city of Santa Cruz, we’ve been busy building broadband throughout the year. Let’s take a look back at the highlights of the last year, and what we’re looking forward to in the next.
We Began Construction of Santa Cruz Fiber
Throughout the entire year, the biggest project on our mind here was our fiber project. It’s a gigantic step forward for internet infrastructure in Santa Cruz. In August, we held a big party at our offices in downtown Santa Cruz celebrating the fact that we got permits to begin construction in the city. Congressman Jimmy Panetta and others gave rousing speeches (which you can find right here!) and we flipped the switch signifying the beginning of the project.
Now, as you can see in the picture above, Construction is underway! We’re now aiming to have the first neighborhood in Downtown Santa Cruz lit up and bringing sweet, sweet gigabit internet to customers by March of this year. If you can see your address in this map, there’s still time to sign up right now and get gigabit internet for $49.95 a month with no installation cost!
Santacruzfiber.com is Alive
And with great new infrastructure, a great new website is needed to show it off! Early this year, we worked with the awesomely talented local design company Cosmic to launch our brand new santacruzfiber.com website. There, we’ve made it easy to find out where your address stands in the fiber project, how you can get your address on the list for future build-outs, and find the services you’re already eligible for. If you haven’t gone over to take a look yet, we strongly recommend checking it out.
Wireless Pro is now even faster
In 2016’s wrap up, we proudly touted that our Wireless Pro network was faster than ever before, with speeds averaging around 50 megabits per second (mbps) and as high as 90 mbps. Last year, as you can see in the graph above, our average speed from installations is much closer to 75 mbps for uploading and downloading. In many cases, speeds have been much higher than that in the 100 Mbps+ range! Our technicians improve these speeds by constantly monitoring the network and upgrading wherever possible to the newest and fastest tech. As we get faster, we upgrade all our customers for free. So if you’re in an area that we don’t have fiber in yet, this fiber-backed option is easily the best option to go with.
We Built A Whole Bunch of New Access Points
Speaking of Wireless Pro, it’s now available in more areas than ever before as well. In the last year, we’ve built new access points across the entire county: from Scotts Valley, to two brand new points in Santa Cruz, all the way down to Watsonville (see below). That means that not only is Wireless Pro faster than ever before, it’s also more widely available than ever before as well.
So take a look at the maps right above this blurb. If you see your address in any of the colored shapes, you’re in a very good area to get connected to the newest points in our Wireless Pro network. You can enter your address right here to find out if you’re eligible for this service. Even if you’re not in any of the polygons above, let us know you’re interested. We’ve got dozens more access points across the county that you could be in range for, and we’re more than happy to help you find the best internet connection you can possibly get.
We Expanded our services in Watsonville
This year we really expanded in South County. Through a long-term partnership with the City of Watsonville and the County of Santa Cruz, we extended our fiber optic path fiber optic internet path to Watsonville and are now offering much faster internet services. As our CEO Peggy Dolgenos said at the time, “for all practical purposes we now have infinite broadband capacity in downtown Watsonville and we’re looking to get as many people as possible connected to it!”
We’re also working with our friends at the City of Watsonville, Digital Nest and the Pajaro Valley Unified School District to bring free, high-speed wifi to the Plaza which we expect to launch in January.
Cruzio Remains Dedicated to Net Neutrality
Not all news was good in the world of the internet this year; it wasn’t all fast speeds and fiber. On December 14th, the FCC voted to gut current net neutrality rules, and all but erase a free and open internet. That means ISPs could throttle connections to some websites, and create paid “fast lanes” to others without any repercussions.
Being an ISP ourselves, we’ve been asked a lot this year what our thoughts on this subject are, and what we would do if net neutrality was obliterated. In short, we’ve been dedicated to the tenants of a free and open internet since the very beginning and that’s never going to change. Throughout the year, we’ve made it readily apparent that we’re not giving up on net neutrality without a fight, and that it’s not time yet to give up; there’s still lots of ways to fight back and make your voice heard.
Thanks to a New Fiber Backhaul, Our Services Became Fully Redundant
Fiber cuts can be a real pain. In 2016, when pounding rain and bad weather brought mudslides to the area, there were times where a cut created major headaches for users throughout our network. This was unacceptable to us, so we took massive steps to beef up our secondary connections.
Last year, we completed our redundant backhaul fiber connection. That means system-wide problems like the ones we saw before are now a thing of the past. In fact, last year we actually had multiple fiber cuts like the ones from 2016 — some that lasted for as long as two days — but not a single user was actually affected by them because the redundant backhaul kicked in and took over for the broken fiber line, like a relay runner passing a baton.
In the words of our Director of Technology and Infrastructure, Chris Frost: “Our network is healthier than it’s ever been before,” largely because of this redundant fiber backhaul.
Looking Toward 2018
2017 saw a lot of big improvements coming to Cruzio and Santa Cruz Fiber, and you can be sure we’ll be carrying all of this momentum into 2018. Now that construction has begun on Santa Cruz Fiber, we’re looking forward to taking it outside of Downtown Santa Cruz, and farther into the city and beyond.
At the same time we’ll be building new wireless access points and continuing to hook up multi-tenant buildings to our certified building program. We’re planning big improvements on our email services early this year that include bigger mailboxes (15GB!), better webmail and much better spam filtering. And we’ll be lighting up the aforementioned wifi in Watsonville plaza and having a kickoff event to celebrate on Jan 31st.
And with that, we say goodbye to a stellar 2017 and look toward an even better 2018!
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year From,
|Chris, Peggy, Mark, James, another Chris, Sandi, Ralph, Colin, Adia, Jesus, Alison, Dan, Ariel, Justin, Andrew, David, another David, Alex, Brooke, Parker, Ani, Max, Josephine, Iasha, Laurie, Alana, Brian, Cameron, Rafferty, Dillon, and another Cameron;
Our fantastic apprentice Jay
and Jake, Annika & Carly (the grown “kids”)