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Technology

For the past few years we’ve worked with members and partners to promote a thriving tech ecosystem in the region with meetups, co-working spaces and access to education. We are now working with our members and partners to explore how we can facilitate high-speed broadband coverage throughout the region. MBEP has been working on gaining access to high-speed internet for all residents in the Monterey Bay region. It’s not just about connectivity – internet access must also be affordable. MBEP works closely with the Central Coast Broadband Consortium on our broadband initiative, and we are in constant contact with the Governor’s office and the CPUC to advocate for coverage in our region. The COVID-19 crisis has brought lack of internet service to the forefront due to the necessity of distance learning and remote working. MBEP is uniquely positioned as a convener in the region to bring the city and county governments, County Offices of Education and ISPs together to take action and improve broadband coverage.

Success Stories

Equal Access Santa Cruz County

Fundraising Campaign Brings Community Together to Close the Equity Gap

Independent ISP Cruzio Internet has been addressing the need for essential digital infrastructure in the Santa Cruz community since its launch in 1989, and the pandemic has increased the urgency around connectivity needs, said James Hackett, Director of Business Operations for Cruzio Internet. “First COVID, and now the fires, have really shone a light on the problem.” Read more

Gonzales Attains ‘Internet for All’

Having a Plan Has Made All the Difference to the Success of City’s Broadband Initiative

Before COVID-19, MBEP member City of Gonzales was already on track to distribute high-speed internet hotspots to its residents. So while the city’s original plan was to distribute the devices at a Community Summit to launch its “Internet for All” initiative, city officials rapidly regrouped, organizing a series of drive-through events where residents were able to quickly and safely pick up their hotspot devices. The 4G LTE WiFi hotspots provide unlimited, high-speed internet access and can support up to 12 connections at once. Read more

Connecting Rural Students

Committee Creates Internet Solutions for Underserved Student Populations

Stretched across approximately 100 miles of western San Benito County, northern Monterey County, and eastern Santa Cruz County, the Aromas-San Juan Unified School District includes several regions where internet is sketchy at best and, in some cases, nonexistent. So when most California schools shut down for in-person learning last March, more than 100 students suddenly found themselves with no feasible way to participate in distance learning. For those students, the challenge was one that a district Chromebook or a low-cost internet service plan couldn’t fix. 

Members of a local service club stepped up to make a difference. Read more

COVID-19 Update

Regional Resources

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, we realize that broadband is more critical than ever. Click here for a list of resources in our region for free or low-cost internet service.

Free Hotspots in the City of Gonzales
The City of Gonzales is organizing drive-through events for residents to pick up hotspot devices. They have a total of 2,000 4G LTE WiFi hotspots to distribute that provide unlimited high-speed access and support up to 12 concurrent connections at no cost. You must have proof of residence in the City of Gonzales to qualify.
Updates can be found on their Facebook page.

 

Broadband Position Paper

Click here for a list of our recommendations to policy makers that will expand the coverage of high-speed internet in our region.

Santa Cruz Tech Beat

Get up-to-date information on tech resources in the region.

Cruz One

Offers technical support to the community on a volunteer basis during this time of crisis.

Free Public WiFi Hotspots

 

 

TECH DATA TRACKER

Explore high-speed broadband access and tech degrees awarded by educational institutions in the region.

BROADBAND COVERAGE

In 2018 the State of California established the standard for broadband at 6 Mbps download / 1 Mbps upload. We partnered with the Central Coast Broadband Consortium (CCBC) and got key players together to determine our own regional broadband standard of 100 Mbps download / 20 Mbps upload, and are working to get high-speed internet coverage throughout the region. Read more about our methodology and research by downloading our white paper.

TECH EVENTS

View a list of MeetUps, demo nights, hackathons, game jams and networking events throughout the Monterey Bay region.

COMPONENTS OF A TECH ECOSYSTEM

Explore the several building blocks that combine to create innovative advancements and services within the tech industry.

Tech Ecosystem Accomplishments

The Sunesys middle-mile broadband fiber from Santa Cruz to Soledad is now installed and being used, and we are encouraging “dig once” policies in all jurisdictions to turn public works departments into facilitators of the high-speed broadband infrastructure. Click here to see our other accomplishments.