We’re Expanding Fiber-Backed Wireless Pro Service to Even More of Watsonville

Last month, we made a huge expansion to our Wireless Pro services in Santa Cruz. We added a brand new Alta Vista access point, that’s brought internet services to dozens of new people in the area, and has given them speeds at least 10 times faster than before. Now, we’re making even bigger additions to our network through two new access points that we’ve just completed in Watsonville. Thanks to these new access points, we’re able to bring fiber-backed wireless internet to more people than ever before.

If you can see your home or business inside any of these colorful shapes above, you’re now in a great area for our excellent fiber-backed Wireless Pro service. That means if you have direct line-of-sight to our access points at the Watsonville Airport, Watsonville Community Hospital, or the Watsonville Civic Center; you’re able to connect to average speeds of around 50 megabits per second. In many cases, you’ll see even faster speeds than that! Just fill out the inquiry form in the link above to get started.

Even better, Cruzio is looking for office and apartment buildings, neighborhood groups and HOAs in these areas, to bring them even faster speeds — we’re talking 1 Gigabit per second, or 1,000 Mbps — to as many areas as we possibly can. So if you’re ready for some of the fastest speeds in the nation, we’re ready to hear from you!

In our last post about Wireless Pro, we said we’ve got even more big news about our growing Wireless Pro network on the horizon. Well, we’re not done yet. Our network is constantly growing, and we’ll have even more to share about our growing Wireless Pro network very soon.

Cruzio Is Hiring A Customer Service Associate!

Cruzio’s hiring once again, so if you’re looking for a new career at an excellent local company, we’re looking for you too! (We’re still looking for Field Ops Apprentices too, by the way!)

Right now, we’re looking for customer service specialists to join our award-winning team. That means we need smart, energized people with a variety of technical and non-technical skill sets to: 

• Support our members in getting the most out of Cruzio’s cutting-edge technologies 
• Grow Gigabit broadband throughout Santa Cruz County 
• Geek out on Cruzio’s network infrastructure, build outs and technical applications 
• Imagine and develop new products and services to help our customers get the most out of their excellent internet connections. 

Sound good? Great! If all of this looks like the perfect job to you, we’d love to hear from you! Especially if you’ve got:

• A strong sense of customer service 
• A passion for technology and communication 
• The ability to work independently and thrive within a team 
• Exceptional communication skills and strong interpersonal skills 
• A positive, solution-oriented attitude 

Prior experience in technology, customer service or sales & marketing is a plus, but absolutely not required. If you’re excited about technology, communications and the Internet, looking for new challenges or ready to kick-start a new career, or have a penchant for office NERF-standoffs, this could be the opportunity you’ve been looking for. 

Here’s a few more bullet points about the job:

  • Excellent advancement opportunities for the right people 
  • Base annual salary starts at $13/hr 
  • Vacation time, medical and dental benefits after 90 days. 
  • No phone calls please. Cover letter required.

Please email your resume/work experience to resume@cruzio.com if you’re interested. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Worried about Security? Time to Pick a New Password

password security

Maybe you’ve used the same password for a dozen years: your dog’s name, or a bunch of letters you put together at some point and just remember now. Hopefully your password of choice is not “password” or “123456”, two of the still-most-popular passwords in the USA.

But even with an unusual password, if it’s A) old and/or B) used for lots of different sites, it’s probably time for a change.

A lot of password-holding services—like Yahoo, or Target, or many more—have been hacked, and criminals know they can often succeed by trying the same login and password combinations on other sites: for example, they’ll try using your Yahoo login at every banking site, hoping to find your account.

Wondering if your information has been compromised? Haveibeenpwned.com looks to see if your password or other personally identifying information has been gathered in one of the many hacking incidents over the years. “Pwned,” by the way, is short for being “perfectly owned” —gamer lingo for someone completely getting the better of you.

When info is stolen, it goes out onto the so-called Dark Web for sale. Someone might want to buy your name, address and birthdate—and passwords, social security numbers and answers to security questions (like “what was your first car?”) are worth even more. Haveibeenpwned.com works by checking for your name or login on the Dark Web and telling you whether your information has been released.

If you see you’ve been compromised, think of the other places you may have used that same login and password, and change your passwords!

Or, just change your passwords anyway. It’s time, right?

More on how to choose a password (this is a fun idea) and how to remember passwords here.

July 12th is the Day We Battle for the Internet

open and net neutral

What do Netflix, Mozilla and Cruzio have in common? If you guessed “all have ties to Santa Cruz,” you’re partly right.* But the more relevant answer today is: we all support Net Neutrality.  And along with Google, Amazon, Reddit, Dropbox, and countless other companies who rely on an open internet, we’re all encouraging you to show support, too.

If you’re familiar with the issue, you’re thinking: We’ve talked about Net Neutrality for years. Now it’s being seriously threatened. Public input has been effective in the past. This time, what can we do?

Here are some quick answers:

  • If you have a website, display an alert for the day. Cruzio and Santa Cruz Fiber, and many national sites, will have blackout displays.
  • If your company has an app, do a push notification. A loss of Net Neutrality could slow down your service.
  • Everyone: share on social media.
  • Easiest of all: everyone, sign the petition.

This video briefly explains what will happen if the new FCC has its way, and abolishes Net Neutrality rules put in place under President Obama:

Net Neutrality basically prevents the giant phone and cable companies which control most of the internet from favoring content from their own divisions or corporate partners.  For example, if a cable company owns a news program, will I be able to watch rival news over that company’s internet?

They’ll let one website load fast, and another slow, not based on the consumer’s preference but on their own business preferences. Not only can those ISPs speed some data up, they can also intentionally slow some other data down.

And we all know, no matter how good a video is, if it keeps buffering and stopping, you won’t want to watch it. The same goes for games, online services like banking or taxes, and other applications.

The new FCC is not only relinquishing its role in protecting Net Neutrality. They’re denying that the FCC has a role at all in governing ISPs. That means they’re relinquishing much of their work in ensuring fair, equitable and ubiquitous access to the internet — which is so important to rural and low-income communities.

Comcast is blanketing social media with the message that “Title II does not equal Net Neutrality.” Well, Title II is the means to enforce Net Neutrality. So that’s like saying enforcing the law does not equal obeying the law. Sure, people might behave well if there were no police, but seriously… 

No matter what, Cruzio and many other independent ISPs will continue battling to keep the internet open and equitable. But we’re much more effective with your support.

fight for net neutrality

*Founders of Netflix, Mozilla and Cruzio all included Santa Cruz residents.

Cruzio Is Hiring a Field Ops Apprentice

Field Ops on the job with a former apprentice

Our field ops team, hard at work

If you’re on the lookout for a new opportunity in tech, Cruzio may have the perfect job for you in our Field Operations Apprenticeship!

Once again, Cruzio has an Apprentice position open within our Field Operations team. This is a great position for someone who’s looking to get a start in the tech industry. Our Field Ops group handles installations and maintenance for our wireline and wireless customers throughout Santa Cruz County. Through them, our Apprentice program trains staff to do everything from basic skills, all the way up through configuration, maintenance, and troubleshooting of high-end Wireless infrastructure gear. Soon, we’ll also include training on fiber-to-the-home and infrastructure-wide fiber deployment.

Apprentices earn $11 an hour, and we will need a 40 hour per week commitment (9AM-6PM Monday through Friday) through the end of the calendar year. This isn’t a job that fits well with a daytime school schedule, but we may be able to work around evening classes for the right candidate.

If you or someone you know someone would be stoked to be a part of this team,  feel free to send a resume to resume@cruzio.com and identify that they’re applying for the Field Ops Apprenticeship. We’re looking for resumes to be sent in ASAP!

Also, please feel free to share this post with anyone you know who would be able to take advantage of this excellent opportunity while it’s available.

#fiberforall Spotlight: Inboard Technologies

Inboard's M1 Skateboard

What will personal transportation look like in the future? With urban gridlock reaching levels of frustration previously never thought possible, and more and more people moving into cities everyday, it’s becoming increasingly clear that something has to be done. And hopefully something really cool…

Enter the subject of this week’s #fiberforall Spotlight, Inboard Technologies: producers of the world’s highest quality electric skateboards, and local Santa Cruz entrepreneurs. Their product: the M1 Electric Skateboard. It’s a sleek and refined personal transportation board with a top speed of over 24 mph, and in-wheel motors that maintain the smoothness of the regular skateboard experience.

Not only did the company start out by receiving over $400,000 dollars in pre-orders via their Kickstarter page, but they were also featured on the infamous startup pitch reality show Shark Tank (and yes they received an offer). Now they are spending most of their days working to process orders and scale up the business, while also soaking up the Santa Cruz sun.

Eventually the company hopes to be considered the Tesla for rideables, emphasizing the importance of design, and first finding a suitable market from which to grow. And Santa Cruz offers the best of both worlds, with Inboard joining a cadre of other well established and well known lifestyle companies, like Santa Cruz Bikes and Santa Cruz Skateboards.

However, it isn’t just the culture of Santa Cruz that makes it an attractive place to create a new company, it’s also about the infrastructure; which is why we are excited to bring next generation internet to Inboard as soon as possible.

“High-speed fiber-optic Internet is a critical competitive advantage to stay on the cutting edge,” says Inboard CEO, Ryan Evans. “To be able to have 10 times the internet bandwidth allows my organization to be more nimble, respond faster, and be more agile to changing market conditions. If I can adapt faster than my competitor, I’m going to survive… And as a business, that’s what it’s all about.”

We couldn’t agree more Ryan, and thank you for building your company in Santa Cruz.

To learn more about Inboard, or order your own M1, visit their website at https://www.inboardtechnology.com/. And be sure to share this story with your friends to help get the word out about another awesome local company!

The Time Has Come: Santa Cruz Fiber is Beginning Construction in Downtown Santa Cruz!

Cruzio celebrates the approval of our permits, and gets ready to begin construction

The Santa Cruz City Council has unanimously approved encroachment permits for Santa Cruz Fiber, our much-anticipated high-speed fiber project, to begin building the first segment of our citywide fiber optic network immediately. The broadband upgrade will provide internet speeds of 1 Gigabit (1,000 megabits) per second to both businesses and residents alike, and allow for even faster speeds further down the line. This also includes the launch of an upgraded suite of “fiber-backed” services, like Wireless Pro, throughout the entire County under the Santa Cruz Fiber brand.

With the permit’s approval, construction in the downtown area is expected to begin in early June and continue through July. We’ll be using a construction technique called “horizontal boring,” that allows us to install the fiber conduit with minimal street trenching, and almost no traffic interruptions.

The construction map we’re using to lay fiber throughout our first neighborhood.

And if you happen to own a multi-unit in the downtown area, you’re encouraged to contact us directly if you’re interested in getting fiber to your buildings. We’ll be connecting not just single homes, but even large buildings entirely free of charge during the initial buildout phase.

“Building entrances to large units can cost thousands of dollars,” said Cruzio’s Director of Infrastructure & Technology, Chris Frost. “But it’s so important to downtown that we connect as many buildings as possible, we’re willing to absorb those costs if we can include them in the initial construction.”

If you’re interested in getting fiber to your home or business, you can also take advantage of the introductory price of $49.95/month for a Gigabit connection during the first 3 months of the network going live. We’ll also completely waive your setup and installation fees if you’re a new customer in this initial phase.

“That’s less expensive and about 10 times faster than any comparable service available today,” said Cruzio and Santa Cruz Fiber CEO, Peggy Dolgenos. “It’s critical to us that we launch with a service that everyone can afford so no one is excluded from these game-changing new internet speeds.”

This is a gargantuan step forward for the Fiber project, and we can’t wait to get downtown-and eventually all of Santa Cruz County-connected to gigabit speeds.

 

Our Best Deal Ever: Get A Gig for Just 49.95/mo

 

Cruzio’s cutting the price for our Santa Cruz Fiber gigabit service in half.

We often talk about how great our gigabit internet services are, from how they can improve your company’s bottom line to how they can help keep more jobs in Santa Cruz County–and cause fewer commuters to go over the hill. Now, we want to make sure as many people as possible can experience these speeds for themselves. That’s why we’re cutting cutting our regular price in half.

We’re excited to say: From today until 8/31/17, if you live or work in one of Cruzio’s certified buildings, you can get gigabit internet for a full year for just 49.95 a month. Still no contracts, still no extra fees, and still no data caps. It’s just some of the fastest speeds in the country, for the lowest price you’ll find anywhere.  

We’re incredibly proud of our gigabit services, and of all the certified buildings we’ve connected. We want as many people as possible to try it out because we know it’s a game changer, a generational change. And what’s available in Certified Buildings today will be coming soon to other parts of the City as we roll out our Santa Cruz Fiber project. We’re planning on the same speeds, same price for everybody.

If you live in one of our certified buildings, you can head over to santacruzfiber.com and plug your address into our handy pre-qualification tool. From there, you’ll be able to reach out to us and we’ll help you get connected as soon as we can.

If you’re not in a currently Certified Building, but you live in an apartment or condo development, or work in a multi-tenant office, Cruzio/Santa Cruz Fiber can quickly start the process. We’ll survey the building and talk to the landlord or HOA, all free of charge. Once a building’s Certified, every apartment or office can choose to subscribe to our service.

And if you’re not in a big building, check out our fiber project. We are figuring out where to build based on neighborhood interest. We’ll put your information on our map and include you in the plans.

Our half-price deal truly is unprecedented, but please don’t just take our word for it. There’s never been a better time to try out gigabit internet for yourself. We’re confident that you’ll be talking about how great it is as much as we do.

Santa Cruz Fiber Project is Full Steam Ahead

Cruzio’s Santa Cruz Fiber project to bring gigabit-speed fiber internet to all of Santa Cruz is taking its next big step forward this month, as final permits are set to be approved for construction of the downtown portion of the high-speed network.

Since 2015, Cruzio and the City of Santa Cruz have been working on a citywide fiber project. As the project progressed and data was gathered on initial and ongoing costs, it became clear that, rather than immediately borrowing an enormous sum for an all-at-once build, it would be more prudent to pursue a pilot project to act as a proof of concept.

The partnership has already made substantial inroads in launching gigabit-class internet. Last year, the City and Cruzio partnered to bring gigabit internet to the Riverwalk Apartments and extended gigabit-class service to 17 other buildings around town, including the Louden Nelson Center, the Tannery Arts Center and City Hall, where the public can enjoy amazing world-class broadband.

Now the most exciting milestone so far: construction of the first full “fiberhood” serving businesses and residences in downtown Santa Cruz with gigabit internet for fifty bucks a month. This is the first phase of the much larger network providing low-cost fiber internet service to all City residents and we couldn’t be more thrilled.

“This is what it’s all about,” said Cruzio’s CEO Peggy Dolgenos. “To finally be breaking ground and getting this much-needed service to downtown makes all our hard work worthwhile.”

This week city council also approved a “dig once policy and a plan that will connect City-owned facilities with fiber — both excellent ideas. 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.
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. One way or another, slowly or quickly, Cruzio’s long-time ambition to provide ubiquitous, disruptively fast internet will be achieved.

Cruzio Tours New Long-Haul Fiber

Cruzio Fiber Vault

Cruzio fiber vault on California St.

Last week, Cruzio joined an excited group on a very special tour. It was an in-depth look at one of the biggest and most important projects we’ve ever been involved in: the long-awaited and newly completed long-haul fiber path going all the way from Santa Cruz down to Soledad.

Though the Cruzio “vault” you see above seems unassuming, it actually represents a huge leap forward for broadband infrastructure along the central coast. This vault, along with dozens more like it and miles and miles of conduit and fiber-optic cable, is the result of  a years-long project to build out this broadband freeway through three counties. This means several significant things:

  1. Right away it gives Cruzio the ability to serve homes and businesses in Watsonville with the same level of service we offer in Santa Cruz.
  2. It provides us a second fiber path so, if something affects our primary fiber (like a backhoe or a squirrel) no one will even notice. It will automatically switch over to our redundant fiber.
  3. It means we can tap into this fiber anywhere along the route to serve neighborhoods, cities, towns and other large institutions. Because the fiber is already connected to our HQ in downtown Santa Cruz, the new “dark fiber” can immediately be accessed and put to use.

We toured a length of the fiber path last week with a posse of the people who made this whole project possible. The group included the California Public Utilities Commission–who helped fund the project, UCSC and the Central Coast Broadband Consortium–who were both instrumental in getting it built, and Sunesys — the construction company that built it.

With a great asset like this now available, of course we wasted no time putting it to use. Cruzio immediately “lit” the fiber from Santa Cruz to Watsonville and we were keen to show off our connection at the Watsonville civic data center.

This is a momentous occasion for us; this backbone’s completion means our services are now stronger and more stable than ever.

“Cruzio is a long-time, trusted Sunesys partner. Their investment in connecting their data center to the backbone fiber, and their long-standing in the local community, makes them an excellent choice for any organization wishing to connect to this infrastructure.” says Sunesys’ Steve DeFranco, Western Region Director of Sales, commending the project.

Now that you know a little bit more about how big this project was, stick around to take a look at some pictures from the highlights of our tour:

A look inside a “vault” along the new fiber path.

Steve Blum of the Central Coast Broadband Consortium speaks to the group about the ins and outs of the project