Newsletter heading

1. Where Will Internet Funds Be Spent?

map highlighting highway 9

California’s planned backbone routes are marked in dark orange. The Highway 9 route (circled) was included after Cruzio led a push for it. The routes still leaves large gaps in parts of Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and Monterey Counties, which we are trying to address with state grants.

The Tri-Bay area — from Half Moon Bay, west of San Francisco Bay to Monterey Bay — needs better internet.

That’s Cruzio country. Partly mountainous, partly coastal, all beautiful (of course) but challenging for constructing broadband networks. We’re working hard on it.

Some of the construction can be financed privately, because it’s economically feasible. Cruzio is rapidly building to many areas that have relatively dense housing and reasonable construction costs. But in some parts of our service area, the costs are so high or the revenue potential so small that no company has been building reliable infrastructure.

We know the issues well. Outside the urban well-to-do areas, there are — increasingly —internet haves and have-nots. And that has serious consequences. Karen Edwards of the Boulder Creek Business Association put it this way: after the area went through fires, flooding, and a pandemic, “I am not ok with folks being 40 minutes from Silicon Valley and not being able to call 911.”

The good news is, federal and state funds are coming available for internet builds. The work ahead is to make sure our area gets its share of those funds and uses them effectively.


2. During Storms, Cruzio Connected Shelters

flood waters along San Lorenzo River

It wasn’t that long ago that many of us were literally under water

Early this year, many people in our area got hit hard by — roughly in chronological order — 1) flooding 2) trees falling 3) wind damage 4) mudslides and 5) other weather-related damage. The government set up shelters to help folks get through it. They were crowded with people.

Wherever there are people, there needs to be internet these days, and so Cruzio worked hard to help out and set up high capacity wireless connections in shelters around the area, especially in the Pajaro Valley where the levee breach caused vast damage. We were also running around from Half Moon Bay to Monterey working to get customers back online — same causes — so you can imagine what a busy time it was.

Just want to give a shout out to Jesus Lopez and his sales team for coordinating the emergency services with county officials, and Ali and Infrastructure Operations for setting them up. We were glad to help.

3. Is Your Cafe Looking for a Home?

cafe and cafe customers

Cruzio’s lovely building in downtown Santa Cruz (really, inside it’s beautiful!) has a cafe space that’s not currently being used.

We had an in-house organic cafe in that spot for many years. But the pandemic just wore the owner out. He’s ready to let someone else have a go.

The cafe has a small but well-located spot and can be had on easy terms. Let us know if you’ve been looking for a place to sell your coffee and (presumably) delicious sandwiches!

4. Remembering that Taco Bell

The Taco Bell on Front Street in downtown Santa Cruz was torn down months ago, making way for a large apartment building. Santa Cruz locals are sharing their memories. Here are a few, most aren’t appropriate for a newsletter but funny if you remember the place. It was a bit sketchy. Check Reddit r/santacruz for more:

screenshot of a Reddit thread

5. Fighting Fires

Cruzio vehicle and smokey skies

When disaster looms, Cruzio works to get out in front of it. Many thanks to our hard working staff!

Fire — one of our region’s biggest threats. How can an internet provider help?

There are several ways. First, warning systems. By placing small radio rigs on mountaintops — the same way we provide rural broadband — Cruzio is able to help firefighters know when and where fires are starting. During the last fire season, one of our systems was featured on KSBW. We worked with community partners Alert California and the Dream Inn, putting equipment on the hotel which has a good view around the bay.

Next, when there are notices of evacuation or other important information, our subscribers — particularly rural folks — use our internet to stay informed. We know it’s vital to have communications open and we have worked with Congresswoman Anna Eshoo and other local officials to keep people connected. That communication is one of the reasons our grant awards are so important: without grants, we could not afford to extend internet as far.

Third, we offer our services to emergency facilities and firefighters. We are there for our community and heroes.

Finally, although we can’t take credit for everything on the internet (and certainly wouldn’t want credit for a lot of it) the internet can help in advance. You can use your Cruzio connection to find plenty of information about how to prepare for and avoid fires. For example, here’s a concise booklet on preparing for and dealing with fire danger created by the Fire Safe Council Santa Cruz County.

6. If You Struggle to Pay for Internet, Here’s Help!

teddy bear on window sill

Cruzio strives to keep costs low. But for some folks every added cost can be a struggle.

Luckily, the federal government has a program to help, and Cruzio can get you signed up. If your income level qualifies, or if you are signed up to a program like SNAP or Medicaid, your internet can be subsidized by $30 every month.

Learn more about the Affordable Connectivity Program, and apply, here on Cruzio’s website. It’s easy, and we can help.

7. Here’s a Better Place to Work

person working on computer

Need a better place to work, for just a day, or a week, or long term? Or maybe just a nice professional place to meet a client or hold a class?

We’ve got offices. We’ve got cubies. We’ve got “hot seats” if you want to just come in for a blissfully peaceful afternoon with the best internet in the Central Coast. And we have several sizes of meeting and event rooms.

So many amenities in our coworking space:

Internet, obviously. Our coworking building is also the hub of our network so the internet is
• Our lovely concierge staff collects and distributes your mail and packages, and directs visitors to you.
• Huge windows with natural light and great natural airflow. Leed Gold building — that means certified as
good for the environment.
• Also good for the environment: not driving over the hill.
Extremely friendly and helpful people working near you and sometimes with you. We’re a home for
lawyers, programmers, web designers, writers, environmental consultants — even, sometimes, nuclear physicists,
should you need to consult one.
• The leaky garage at your house? The problematic squirrels in your yard? Leave them at home and come get some
work done in a calm environment with fewer distractions.
Short term contracts for fully furnished offices available: step right in and start working
day one.
Printing, faxing (for those who still fax!!) and copying onsite.
• Utilities — including air conditioning and heat — and light cleaning included.
• Conference and meeting rooms of various sizes included free of charge. Onsite kitchen and free
organic coffee.
• We’re in downtown Santa Cruz, so everything that’s downtown is close by. Pizza? Draft beer?
Dry cleaning? Gym? It’s all super handy.

Cruzioworks is the kind of workspace where people in Santa Cruz can feel comfortable, but can also bring investors to, and look professional.

We’d love to see you working in our friendly space. Contact us or just stop by when you’re in downtown Santa Cruz!

8. Equal Access’s Latest Success: Casa Azul

Casa Azul property

Cruzio donates internet to local homeless and emergency shelters, and to low-income families. You can help!

People who’ve fallen on hard times can use the internet to connect to health and other services, to look for jobs and permanent housing, to stay in touch with family, and, hopefully, to help find their way back to stability.

Throughout our 34-year history, Cruzio has provided internet connections to organizations that help the members of our community who are most in need, and as we build new infrastructure we extend it to needy folks when we can.

Most recently, Cruzio was proud to link up new supportive housing on River Street, near the intersection of Highways 1 and 9.

Leveraging state funds from the Home Key program as well as resources from local donors, Housing Matters renovated a long-empty VIctorian house and is using it to provide housing to people who suffer from one or more disabilities and who’ve experienced homelessness for a year or more. The house is close to Housing Matters facilities, creating a much-needed expansion of the campus.

The Casa Azul project consists of two one-bedroom apartments and five studio units, making it a stepping stone towards Housing Matters’ upcoming project, the Harvey West Studios.


9. Hot Dog! All the Facts

Elvis sang about hot dogs, and certainly must have enjoyed them in his day

Our Sales and Marketing Manager Jesus Lopez, who is, like Elvis, a musician, keeps us informed of some very random information. This week, we learned about hot dogs:

Famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma’s favorite foods are his mother’s home cooked Chinese food and a “good, old-fashioned American hot dog with mustard.”
Remember the 4th of July a few weeks ago? On that day alone, Americans consume about 70 million hot dogs!
Hawaii eats the most hot dogs per capita in the U.S.
The world’s longest hot dog was made by the Vienna Beef company from Chicago.
The record-setting frankfurter was almost 200 feet long and cost a chill $80,000 to produce
Hot dogs outsell burgers at ballparks
The average American eats 60 hot dogs per year, which is more than 20 billion hot dogs consumed nationally each year
Hot dogs were first sold at baseball games in 1893
Franks and wieners were the original names for the Americanized hot dogs, and super fun to say
Hot dogs were one of the first foods eaten on the moon
Alongside Tang and freeze-dried ice cream, hot dogs have passed NASA’s lengthy approval process for food that is allowed to be taken and consumed in space
A hot dog is a sausage but a sausage isn’t necessarily a hot dog
At 230 Fifth in New York City, there is a $2,300 hot dog that is made out of top-grade Japanese wagyu beef and topped with onions that have been caramelized in champagne, caviar, and sauerkraut that has ALSO been braised in champagne


10. Ecology Action: Local Folks Working for the Environment

bicyclists and lighthouse

Ecology Action works hard for the environment — not just during Bike Month!

The good folks at California Local recently reported on our building-neighbors in our downtown Santa Cruz headquarters, Ecology Action.

Founded 52 years ago at the dawn of the environment movement, EA is leading the response to the climate crisis, here and in California. EA initiatives address various means of reducing the carbon footprint of communities by promoting electric vehicle purchases, switching over to bicycle and ebike transportation, making buildings more energy efficient and other programs.

Read the article to learn more.

And check out the California Local portal for Santa Cruz or Monterey with local news, traffic, weather and links to local community groups and government entities. Be sure to subscribe to their weekly local newsletter to keep up with the local communities.

11. No More Netstat on Twitter

Network Status header

Sigh. We all know Twitter is… going through some changes. Cruzio has used Twitter in the past to get information to our community. But many of its functions were removed suddenly, without notice. We just can’t rely on it any more.

We will continue to provide information on our website, as we’ve always done. Cruzio reports issues that affect multiple customers on our Network Status (or “Netstat” if you’re a geek) page. Save the URL and check it if you have questions!

12. Help Us Expand, Get Free Internet

townscape and a tall building

Many of the houses high on this hill could get great internet — for free!

Want free Internet? Have a tall building or sweeping view?

Cruzio is always looking for well-situated buildings to join our broadband network. If we use your location we’ll give you free high-speed service.

We’ve had some great success not only with taller buildings like offices and apartments, but with houses that just happen to see lots of other houses and buildings.

Not only will you save on great internet — you’ll also help other people in the community who need a better connection. If you wish your neighborhood had better internet, and your house doesn’t fit the “sweeping view” description, bug your neighbor up on the ridge!

Interested? Contact us.

13. Handy Cruzio Information

If you’re moving, Cruzio can save you from an interruption in Internet service and prevent costly fees. Call us at 459-6301 or contact us online (several weeks ahead, if possible!).

Get Cruzio Credit with Buddy Bucks
Recommend us! Each time a new customer gives us your email address, account number, or full name when they sign up you’ll get a $10 credit — or more — to your account.

Feed the Hungry
If you’re late on a payment to Cruzio, bring 3 cans of food into our office and we will waive late fees up to $5. Donations go to Second Harvest Food Bank.

Chris, Peggy, Mark, James, Frost, Sandi, Colin, Adia, Jesus, Alison, Justin, David, Alex, Ani, Max, Iasha, Alana, Jay, Jason, another David, Sonya, Evan, Robert, Pily, Dizaree, Ben, Rob, Steve, another Mark, Justise, Ian, Thomas, Tyler, Mario, Sam, Cody, Jose, Benji, Ameyalli, Noel, Zach;

Jake, Annika & Carly (the grown “kids”)

Got this great request for service a few months ago:
“Comments: I will become a praying man if you free me from Comcast. You can take my first born child, or as many of them as you’d like, if I never have to talk to a Comcast representative again.”