South Africa endorses best practices for broadband development policy

South Africa’s goal is to bring a minimum of 5Mbps Internet access to half its population by 2016 and 90% by 2020, with 100% of school, medical and government sites getting at least 10 Mbps by then. To do it, the government is adopting essentially the same policy playbook as the European Union, Google, and Californian communities such as Santa Cruz, San Leandro and Loma Linda

  • Efficient permit granting: Responsible authorities will provide network operators with a clear, simple, transparent and efficient mechanism for granting permits for civil works.

Google offers a better benchmark for Santa Cruz broadband policy

The color scheme is optional.

Santa Cruz County is moving closer to slashing red tape for broadband projects to the level urged by Google Fiber, in its talks with other cities in California and elsewhere in the U.S. That’s not to say that Google has any interest in putting a fiber system anywhere on California’s central coast. Nor that new broadband infrastructure rules are a done deal here. Not by a long shot. But it’s to the point where it’s more useful to compare Santa Cruz County to Google’s fast track than to the normal course of broadband construction in California.… More

Commuter survey finds tech talent bonanza in Santa Cruz

15 April 2014 by Steve Blum
, , ,

Not worth the money.

Ditching a two hour commute and working in Santa Cruz is worth a 9% cut in pay, according to a survey by Civinomics, commissioned by South Swell Ventures. Most of those surveyed – 61% – said they had technical jobs, with software engineers predominating. The most commonly reported commute time was 2 hours (28%), with 80% saying they traveled at least an hour and a half a day. The sample was specifically targeted rather than random…

The survey was conducted in two parts, with half of respondents being randomly selected while boarding company buses at multiple stops, and the other half being referred through a verified link via email.


To get a gigabit from Google, cities need processing speed

26 February 2014 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

Not to Google spec either.

Google has handed a fiber-ready checklist to 34 cities in 8 states, including five in California. Not just anywhere in California, but smack in the middle of Silicon Valley. You’d think that if there was any metro area in the state that would zip through Google’s homework, it would be the likes of San Jose, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Santa Clara and Palo Alto.

No need to guess, though. With Google setting a deadline of 1 May 2014 for cities to provide the information and accommodations requested, we’ll soon find out if there’s any hope for the Golden State.… More

Broadband priority workshop for California's central coast goes online

17 February 2014 by Steve Blum
, , , , , , ,

Click to join the discussion.

There’s not enough money on the table right now to build all the broadband infrastructure that California needs. The California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) was topped up last year by the state legislature, but even so choices have to be made. The California Public Utilities Commission has asked the regional broadband consortia that it’s funding to weigh in on how and where to set priorities.

One such is the Central Coast Broadband Consortium, which covers Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties.… More

Santa Cruz entrepreneurs plot disruption with DNA and bicycles

Daylight cruise, night time workout.

“I look for transitions in markets”, said Neal Saiki, the founder of NTS Works as he explained why he’s designing and building high tech, electric bicycles. The market for traditional human powered bicycles is stagnant, but e-bike sales are rocketing. He plans to match his patented e-bike technology with existing bicycle industry distribution channels to ride that transition to success. His new products include a solar cargo bicycle that he says can run at 10 miles per hour on level ground powered just by sunlight.… More

If you dig broadband in Santa Cruz, just dig once

28 January 2014 by Steve Blum
, , ,

Caput likes the Santa Cruz economy just the way it is. Or something like that.

Any work done on public roads or otherwise in county right of ways in Santa Cruz County will have to include broadband facilities in the future. County supervisors approved a telecommunications infrastructure improvement ordinance today, although there’s still some work to be done to bring put what’s called a “dig once” policy completely into effect.

The ordinance was part of a package of broadband improvement measures championed by Aptos supervisor Zach Friend that won approval on a 4 to 1 vote.… More

Santa Cruz supervisors look at mandatory broadband upgrades

27 January 2014 by Steve Blum
, , ,

Just save a little room for broadband.

Broadband upgrades – conduit, cable or other facilities – would be installed anytime any work is done on Santa Cruz County roads or other right-of-ways, if the Board of Supervisors approves a proposed telecommunications infrastructure improvement ordinance tomorrow. The key language that’d be added to the county building code is…

All construction, reconstruction or repaving of a County right-of-way will include provisions for the installation of telecommunications cable, conduit and other related equipment wherever practical and feasible…If a project includes excavation in or adjacent to a County right-of-way, installation of or upgrades to telecommunications cable, conduit or other infrastructure will be included as needed.


Santa Cruz becomes the place Silicon Valley wants to be

31 December 2013 by Steve Blum
, , , ,

Sticking out like a surfboard in a cubicle farm, Santa Cruz has risen to the top of Silicon Valley’s hot spots for 2014. It’s a top 5 tech mecca for the coming year, according to Silicon Valley Business Journal, and the only one of the bunch with local culture that rises above strip malls, fast food and bad haircuts.

According to author Lauren Hepler

Hippie beach enclave no more? A gaggle of politicians, entrepreneurs and deep-pocketed investors want to diversify from Santa Cruz County’s $500-million-a-year reliance on summer tourism.


Watsonville growing economy and cash with muni dark fiber

“We want to be able to service other business”, said Bob Berry, public works project manager for the City of Watsonville. “We think we want to turn this into an enterprise fund”.

The city is installing dark fiber between key public buildings and, incidentally, through core business areas of Watsonville. The project was launched after Charter Communications raised the price it was charging for similar connections from free to $150,000 a year, a move made possible by its shift from local to statewide cable franchising.… More