Local fiber maps unlock opportunities on California's central coast

6 November 2014 by Steve Blum
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A lot of fiber is installed along California’s central coast. But most of it is locked up by incumbent telephone and cable companies, and not available to local businesses and independent Internet service providers. The Central Coast Broadband Consortium, with a grant from the California Public Utilities Commission via the California Advanced Services Fund, mapped both long haul and local last mile fiber in Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito Counties.

Most of the locally accessible fiber is owned by AT&T, Comcast and Charter Communications. There are exceptions, particularly in the City of Santa Cruz, but there is little opportunity to lease dark fiber or otherwise unbundle the more lucrative managed service that incumbent cable and telephone companies prefer to sell.

Even so, knowing where the fiber is and who to talk to about it is valuable information for economic development professionals and entrepreneurs. Being able to separate out which fiber might be directly accessible and which isn’t allows start-ups to make hard projections about costs and connections to markets. It also puts a value (or not) on commercial real estate: fiber connectivity is as essential to 21st century businesses as water, sewer or electrical service.

The CCBC will be putting up a website that includes this data, as well as other information its collected about local broadband resources and demand. For now, though, the source data is available in KML files. You can click on the links below for specific fiber maps, or you can go to the City of Watsonville’s FTP site and browse all the maps, data sets and images that the CCBC has published.

Click to download the source data…

Long haul fiber routes
Compressed (KMZ) version

Santa Cruz County fiber networks
Compressed (KMZ) version

Monterey County fiber networks
Compressed (KMZ) version

San Benito County fiber networks
Compressed (KMZ) version

CCBC data hosted by the City of Watsonville (FTP site)