Frequently Asked Questions

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  • Fiber -- short for ‘fiber optics’ -- delivers the world’s fastest (by 10-100 times), most stable internet service. It’s made of bundled strands of spun glass, each thinner than a human hair, sheathed by sturdy non-conductive materials. Data travels through the fiber as light, powered by lasers. 

    So, to recap, we’re talking about bringing you internet delivered at the speed of light by lasers, shot through glass and into your home or office. It’s incredibly cool. It’s also kind to the environment, and not dangerous or damaging if cut. It's also ready for whatever new technologies need ever-faster internet: fiber is built to last.

  • Santa Cruz Fiber is a project by local internet service provider Cruzio, with the goal of bringing high-speed, low-cost internet to every corner of the county. We have decades of experience operating a community-owned network, utilizing the latest in cutting-edge technology. 

    By using fiber, fiber-grade wireless, and other emerging technologies, we plan to bring gigabit speeds to everyone in Santa Cruz County.

  • Kind of. The internet speed and the price will be similar — much faster for a lower cost if possible. And like google and others, we're using a combination of fiber and fiber-backed wireless wherever the technology makes the most sense. Gigabit internet is a “game changer” in Kansas City and it will be in Santa Cruz, too.

  • Well, no, it’s different from Google Fiber. While Google’s focusing on limited areas of some cities, our goal is to make these services available to every home and business. Our focus is 100% on Santa Cruz County.

  • Cruzio would love to hear from you, because we’ve already got you covered. We already offer up-to-gigabit speeds in many parts of Santa Cruz County right now. Enter your address (back up at the top of this page) to see what's available today or to let us know that you want faster internet. We’ll get in touch with you. Every inquiry helps us plan our network.

  • Yes, 100%. Cruzio has always been locally owned and operated, and we’ve been a trusted member of the community since 1989.

  • Well if the cable and phone companies finally start building decent infrastructure in our area, that’s not the worst thing in the world. We plan to have service so fast and prices so low that we’re un-squashable! We believe independent ISPs offering real competition to the national big-box providers is critical to maintaining a healthy internet environment.

  • Yes, Network Neutrality and privacy are very important to us. We support an open internet and don’t collect your browsing data, unlike the big internet service providers. We’ll never sell or disclose your personal data or email communications. And, unlike the large providers, we’d never charge our customers to protect their basic privacy.

  • High rates of signups will move neighborhoods up in priority. Other factors will matter, too, including how close a neighborhood is to the fiber hub, and how many barriers are in the way. The best way to get your neighborhood ahead in priority is to get lots of people to tell us they’re interested.

  • If you wait for the network to be built before you sign up you’ll be out of luck for free installation. Sign up today to get it immediately when fiber comes to your street.

  • Wifi is somewhat different. Wifi refers to internet that you can connect to wirelessly inside your house, or a coffee shop, or a relatively small open space. It's provided by a wireless router that is hooked up to your main internet connection. Wifi can go through walls, but the signal isn't very strong, and can't go long distances. Our fiber-backed wireless uses next-generation technology to provide a direct internet connection to your home and business. These days we can do 100 Mbps and even 1 Gbps speeds via wireless radios.

    We also have an amazing home and business wifi portal called a Gigacenter. Santa Cruz Fiber and Cruzio can help you get connected with both wireless and wifi. We've got you covered.

  • Our Wireless services use the same fiber backbone that our Fiber services use. The only difference is that the last "hop" -- the link to your home and business -- uses wireless rather than hard-wired fiber-grade technology.

    Santa Cruz Fiber has a powerful, redundant dark fiber optic connection from Silicon Valley all the way through Santa Cruz County. Currently the connection is set to 10 gigabits per second. When we need it, we can increase the bandwidth to hundreds or even thousands of gigabits per second.

    We use this backbone to supply internet to neighborhoods throughout the county. Some of the end points are served by fiber all the way to the building. In other instances it's more practical to use a fixed wireless connection from the last fiber node to the building's roof or eave.

  • Santa Cruz Fiber and Cruzio have set up many gigabit wireless connections! The installation process is much faster and less expensive than wireline construction and the speeds can be just as fast as fiber-to-the-home.

    The best choice of technology depends on your location and the way you use the internet. Cruzio is happy to talk to you — honestly — about what's best for you.

    In many places wireless technology is a better solution than direct fiber. Traders on the New York Stock Exchange love their wireless connections because the latency (it's traveling through the air after all) is so incredibly low. Latency is important in many other internet applications, like gaming, too.

  • If you really, really rely on your internet, and can't afford even temporary outages, one strategy is to have multiple connections. If one fails, you can go to the other. And they shouldn't share the same cable paths or equipment -- if that cable were cut, you would lose both connections at once!

    Wireless is a great primary connection. And since our wireless is quite separate from other networks, it can also make a great secondary, or failover, connection.

  • We find our Wireless services to be just as reliable as our fiber. Each has advantages depending on the situation, but both are rock solid. Fiber is a physical connection and on rare occasions can be accidentally cut. No one ever put a back hoe through a wireless connection.

  • Santa Cruz Fiber and Cruzio care a great deal about safety -- it's our number one concern for our staff and community. Before starting our wireless network, we did extensive research into its safety. We are satisfied that it is a time-tested, safe technology.

    Our Wireless services send a low power, narrow beam high overhead. It's very different from cell phone technology, which sends much stronger signals at ground level.

    All available evidence today — according to the FDA, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) — suggests that there is no correlation between low-power wireless use and health issues.

  • Wireless is installed in two steps. 

    First, our experienced technical staff assesses whether your location can "see" an Access Point, or AP. We often need to make a site visit to see if trees or buildings are in the way. We'll bring ladders, if needed, and go to your roof or balcony to check.

    If we find line-of-sight, we will install an antenna on the top or side of your house. The gear we use is generally much smaller than a satellite dish, about one foot in diameter. We will pull wires into your house so you can connect a router to the wireless internet. We will test the connection and show you how to use it before we leave.

  • We need line-of-sight from your location to an access point on our network to be able to install Wireless. And although Santa Cruz Fiber has access points all over Santa Cruz County and some parts of the Bay Area, there are some places we don't yet reach.

    Our network is growing fast, though. And that's partly due to local residents. One or more neighbors can allow us to install equipment on their building to serve their neighborhood with internet, even in rural areas. When you live among ridges, trees, and winding roads, it's rare for every neighbor to have line-of-sight to an access point -- but often at least one will.  

    Meanwhile, Santa Cruz Fiber and Cruzio are expanding the network. If you are interested, and we can't serve you right away, we may be able to serve you sometime in the near future. 

  • The best internet service available depends very much on your location. Let Cruzio/Santa Cruz Fiber know your address and we’ll honestly assess the best options for you, free of charge and obligation.

    Included in our free assessment are the condition of infrastructure in your neighborhood and what speeds and quality to expect. We may recommend a visit (also free) to your home or office for a thorough investigation. If you're outside our fiber footprint, we'll let you know the prospects for the future and how you can help fiber reach you.

    Check here for a quick description of how different internet services compare.

  • Santa Cruz Fiber doesn’t only connect locations with fiber cables. Our network also includes wireless service from mountaintops and prominent buildings around Santa Cruz County and parts of the Bay Area. Wireless has a lot of advantages: it’s inexpensive, quick to deploy, fast and reliable. It’s a great primary or backup connection. 

    We explain wireless thoroughly here. 

  • We serve most of Santa Cruz County and some other parts of the Bay Area with a wide range of technologies, everything from internet over copper phone lines to fixed wireless to newly installed, ultra-fast fiber optics. We have customers in both population centers and rural areas. Contact us for a free assessment of what we can offer you! 

  • Sometimes the best internet you can get is wireless or ethernet connected to our fiber. All our Santa Cruz Fiber services are fiber-fed, but we sometimes need to use another medium for the final hop from the fiber to the building, office or apartment. These services still enjoy many of the benefits of our ultra-fast fiber backbone and are in a favored position for an upgrade to all-fiber.

    Read more about the term “fiber-backed" here. 

  • When Santa Cruz Fiber makes an enterprise-grade connection to a multi-tenant building, we can offer all the apartments or offices the kind of internet connection that a big corporation in Silicon Valley gets, at a consumer-level price (under $50/mo!). That makes apartment living or office rental in the building a great option, and landlords find it’s a great amenity for tenants.

    There's lots more to know about Certified Buildings! Learn more about what they are, how to get a building certified, and how to find an existing Certified Building for your home or office.

  • When Santa Cruz Fiber has activated the fiber needed to serve all buildings in the neighborhood, we call it a "fiber hood” — every building in the area is eligible to get fiber to their location from infrastructure on their street. At that point, you’ve moved past “fiber-backed.” You’re all fiber, the top of the top, where everyone wants to be.

    Read more details about Fiber Hoods here. 

  • When you’re going to build or renovate your home or office, it’s a great time to plan for internet. You will have much better choices for decades to come if you make minor allowances in your plans now. We’ve seen a lot of buildings have to do expensive alterations years down the road when they realize they want better telecommunications. Do it right the first way!

    Learn more about how to plan for internet when you build.