Santa Cruz County considers sweeping new broadband deployment policies

Streamlining tech, Santa Cruz style.

What would be one of California’s most comprehensive broadband infrastructure development policies goes before the Santa Cruz County board of supervisors on Tuesday. A report prepared by county staff recommends taking several steps to clear the way for immediate construction of broadband facilities and lay a foundation for long term infrastructure planning and deployment…

  1. Finalize conduit specifications in collaboration with Public Works and broadband providers.
  2. Work with County Counsel and Public Works to establish master lease agreements that allow the installation of broadband infrastructure on utility poles, light standards and County assets.

Santa Cruz's innovative Open Counter platform going national with Knight grant

Cowell’s Beach is a great place to start.

Santa Cruz is proving itself to be a leading center for twenty-first century e-government. The latest endorsement came from the Knight Foundation today, which announced it was giving a $450,000 award to the Open Counter project. It was one of only eight winners, out of 860 applicants, of the Knight News Challenge on Open Gov.

Led by Peter Koht, an economic development staffer with the City of Santa Cruz, the Open Counter initiative was originally backed by Code for America, a private foundation that bills itself as a Peace Corps for geeks.… More

Santa Cruz supervisors move forward with broadband policy initiative

Pioneering surfing of all sorts.

Model broadband development policies are on a fast track in Santa Cruz County. On a unanimous vote yesterday, county supervisors gave staff three months to evaluate four specific recommendations and come back with an action plan.

“This is a far-reaching agenda for increasing the region’s access to broadband by lowering the administrative barriers to entry for, and increasing coordination between, private telecommunications providers,” wrote Zach Friend, the county supervisor behind the effort.… More

Civinomics launches platform for cooler, smarter conversations about hot button issues

12 April 2013 by Steve Blum
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Civil discussion about community issues is the goal of a start-up launched last night in Santa Cruz, California. Civinomics is a platform for online workshops and in-person polling, aimed at engaging a wider segment of the public in conversations about local issues and ideas. Where ever those might be.

“It represents the evolution of social media into civic media,” said Chris Neklason, the company’s product management guru and the co-founder of Cruzio, an independent ISP and the host of the ribbon cutting event.… More

Santa Cruz virtually cuts red tape

7 February 2013 by Steve Blum
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Starting a business is hard work and a lot of fun. And then there’s the stuff that isn’t much fun and is mind numbing rather than difficult. Navigating the maze of local regulations and permits usually falls into this middle ground.

The City of Santa Cruz has a twenty first century answer to this problem, called OpenCounter. It’s a website where you can enter a few quick facts about yourself and your new business, and then it’ll get into the necessary details.… More