On February 15th, the California Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved Resolution T-17810, giving the green light to Cruzio’s Equal Access Summits to the Sea (EAS2C) grant proposal.
EAS2C is a game-changer, bringing high-speed connectivity to large areas of San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, and Monterey Counties where internet service is inadequate. Many folks in these rural and remote regions have been left behind, dealing with outdated copper networks and limited internet options that are both scarce and pricey. Cruzio came up with an economical plan to address the problem, and the State of California has approved and will fund some of the work.
Using state-of-the-art fixed wireless hardware, Cruzio will rapidly deploy gigabit broadband to thousands of locations in this under-served region. And EAS2C’s middle-mile infrastructure is “open access,” meaning other ISPs can hop on board to offer speedier, more reliable services to residents across the Central Coast. The network will lighten the load on smaller providers, paving the way for fairer prices and better service for all.
And it’s not just about binge-watching Netflix and making Zoom calls. In rural areas like these, reliable internet is a lifeline, especially when it comes to public safety. That’s why Cruzio has partnered with the AlertWildfire consortium to install internet-connected cameras along the network, keeping an eye out for wildfires and helping keep communities safe.
For the last few years, Cruzio has worked with local school districts, municipalities, and non-profit partners to provide subsidized internet to low-income families through our Equal Access initiative. The populations are diverse, including everyone from recent immigrants in crowded farmworker communities to families who’ve lived in isolated mountain homes for many generations.
Cruzio’s mission is to provide every household with the same level of service that we make available to our more urban customers. Recent advances in fixed wireless technology, matched with Cruzio’s familiarity with the area, are making that mission a reality.
“Our region has a problem.” James Hackett, COO at Cruzio, explained. “We’ve got rural communities, farmers, low-income communities out here. Then just a hop away we’ve got Silicon Valley, high-tech and bustling. It’s quite the gap. But getting reliable internet out here? Not so easy with our geography. And that digital divide? It’s real, making life harder for folks. With the Summits to the Sea project we’re working to level the playing field and give everyone a fair shot.”
This project represents a generational leap forward in broadband access, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of concerned community groups and elected officials. Big thanks to Representatives Jimmy Panetta and Anna Eshoo, State Senator John Laird, State Assemblyman Robert Rivas, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, Monterey County Supervisors Chris Lopez, Mary Adams, and Luis Alejo, as well as the Santa Cruz, Monterey, and Santa Clara Offices of Education, the Central Coast Broadband Consortium, Monterey Bay Economic Partnership, and many others. We especially want to recognize the incredible work being done by Cruzio’s growing team of all-local employees, many of whom have been with us for decades. It’s been a team effort, and fast, affordable internet is going to make a world of difference for folks across the region.