The County of Santa Cruz is up for recognition of their efforts in expanding broadband infrastructure through the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s (SVLG) “Red Tape to Red Carpet” annual awards. According to SVLG’s website, “the program is a contest to review and select government agencies for doing a better job of serving their citizens and that foster an environment for private sector job creation. It is a strategy where the business community recognizes good public projects.” The broadband initiative will be considered under the “business expansion and retention” category.
Over the past 18 months, SCCBC has closely followed the work conducted by County officials, under the leadership of Supervisor Zach Friend’s office, to further the expansion of broadband infrastructure throughout the area. Because of our close involvement on the issue, the County approached SCCBC about submitting a support letter to SVLG for the “Red Tape to Red Carpet.” The following is an excerpt from the letter that we submitted to SVLG:
SCCBC’s support for the County’s efforts can be summed up through the following three (3) points:
- Collaboration – The County is fostering an environment of cohesiveness in order to achieve their stated objectives. Internally, we have noted the Planning, Information Services and Public Works departments pooling their collective resources and knowledge in order to draft infrastructure-related ordinances. Externally, efforts continue to bring local ISPs to the table to discuss ways for them to work together to support the local economy.
- Support for Local Business – County officials are demonstrating their commitment to strengthening the local economy by listening to, and addressing the stated needs of the community. We have witnessed officials directly engaging with SCCBC members to ensure that current deficiencies are addressed, and opportunities for economic vitality are incorporated into future plans.
- Communication – An important part of the process to date has been the County’s continued communication to the community about the efforts undertaken and their commitment for the future. Additionally, open dialogue with municipal officials from the four (4) municipalities within the county has enhanced the effectiveness and reach of the broadband initiative.
SCCBC firmly believes that having readily available, reliable high-speed internet is requisite for furthering economic vitality throughout the county. Our Government Affairs & Economic Development Committee will continue to follow the County’s progress on their broadband initiative.