Santa Cruz and San Mateo have a lot in common. We’ve both got great lighthouses, for one
The very big news is that Cruzio has merged with our neighbor ISP just to the north — Coastside Net. Welcome Coastside subscribers! We know you’ll like working with our friendly staff, and we’re happy to have the chance to serve you.
We Both Started Early
Here’s a little history. Like Cruzio, Coastside started up in the early dot-com wildcat era when people wanted to get everything from library card catalogues to psychic readings onto the internet as fast as possible. Thousands of internet providers sprang up to fill the demand. Every hobbyist gave it a shot. Even David Bowie had his own ISP!
Not long after, in 1999-2000, the dot-com boom ended. The overinflated industry was brought down to earth. Although the need for the internet didn’t disappear — My Space and other social media was lurking on the horizon, after all — small ISPs were mostly muscled out by big corporations who’d suddenly taken an interest when it looked as though a profit could be made.
Coastside Net, like Cruzio, was one of the independents that survived — against odds — to maintain the early culture of the internet: creative, clever, Net Neutral, respectful of privacy. And we both ran our businesses in a friendly, human way.
Indies Make the Internet Better for Consumers
Competing against some of the largest — and most disliked — companies in the country isn’t easy, and independent ISPs do it every day.
“Local, independent ISPs not only provide competition, helping keep prices down and improve service quality,” said James Hackett, Cruzio’s long-time Director of Business Operations, “we’re also more nimble and imaginative with our solutions, and we’re far more connected with our communities than those big corporate giants.”
Smaller companies also do better when working together, sharing tips with other independents around the country. Cruzio’s Director of Technology and INfrastructure, Chris Frost, has served for years as President of FISPA, the national association of independent ISPs (it’s Federated ISP Association, if you want to decode the acronym). He got the gig because he’s always bringing people together to make technology work.
We’ve Been Buddies for a Long Time
Cruzio is friendly with lots of ISPs. But our very favorite ISP has been Coastside Net, and not just because the drive up Highway 1 to Half Moon Bay is world-class gorgeous. Over the years Coastside Net and Cruzio developed a close relationship, even loaning each other equipment to help out when needed. Both companies stand up during fire season, helping mountain lookouts stay connected. We support the ham community, who keep emergency radio communications up and running and with whom it’s fun to geek out.
And We’re Both Builders
There’s a lot of network out there that needs to be built, and we want to get to it. Cruzio and Coastside Net are both experienced with construction of fiber optic and fixed wireless networks. These technologies can deliver a lot of internet — more all the time.
In 2020 Cruzio launched Equal Access, a program designed to address issues of digital equity in our region. Since then we’ve connected over 700 families to free or very low-cost internet. We’re ready to do the same in neighboring counties. Coastside Net, just to our north, shared our priorities.
So we Tied the Knot
As we talked about it, it made sense for Cruzio and Coastside Net to take the next step and merge our companies. At the end of 2021, that’s just what we did.
“We’ve worked closely with Cruzio for years so when the opportunity arose to join forces, we could all see what great sense it made”, said Coastside Net CEO, Rob Genovesi. “I couldn’t be more excited for the future and the great things we can accomplish together.”
The Coastside community responded to the announcement with congratulations and enthusiastic encouragement. They have a lot in common with Cruzio members. They’re just the best.
And we welcome Rob and Steve to the Cruzio team! They are smart, experienced, and fun to work with. We think you’ll enjoy meeting them and you’ll see us continue to make progress towards our goal: good quality, reasonably priced internet for all.
More questions? Check out our FAQ on the merger.