Chris Frost and James Hackett are building internet to underserved areas of Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, and San Mateo Counties. And they won an award for it!
On March 2nd, in a chilly but thrilling outdoor event, our very own James Hackett and Chris Frost were lauded as “Titans of Tech” by Santa Cruz Works.
Frost and James well deserve their awards. Other local tech companies sell software or apps nationwide, which is impressive, but Cruzio allows people in our own community to create and use those apps and that software. We help people participate in the 21st century world of tech.
But we have to compete with some of the biggest corporations in the country. Staying competitive means we’ve had to build a whole new communications network, one that’s locally owned and operated specifically for local residents and businesses. Because so many people need better internet, we’ve extended from Santa Cruz County to reach further up the coast, to San Mateo County, and further south, to parts of Monterey and San Benito counties.
Building stuff is what we do. We set our goals high, and we accomplish our work quickly and efficiently. Frost and James are the leaders of our efforts and they do a remarkable job managing and guiding construction, even during a pandemic.
And then there’s our Equal Access initiative.
We’re not just building out a huge independent telecommunications network— which started from scratch in 2009 — we’re also helping low income people up and down the Central Coast access work, school, and social services over the internet. James and Frost have been dynamic leaders leaders in that important effort, too.
It can be very complicated to bring together all the resources needed to get internet to these difficult-to-serve areas. Frost and James have been able to forge important relationships so that projects move smoothly through their many stages. We are lucky to have partners such as Susan True from Santa Cruz Community Foundation and Jason Borgen from the County Office of Education. They are remarkable leaders who deserve awards as well.
Providing service to people who need it is our mission. And since everyone needs good internet, and needs increasingly more and better internet, we have a lot to do. We are lucky to have a tremendous staff and smart, compassionate leaders to get us there.
And no, James and Frost are not opening an In-N-Out burger. That was an April Fools joke. If an In-N-Out does open, we’ll happily provide it with internet.
And lastly, much admiration for Matthew Swinnerton, an event-planning madman and local icon, who allowed himself to be doused with 5 buckets of ice — we mentioned it was a chilly night that night, right? — at the event. Video here.