Aviat Networks recently partnered with Cruzio Internet of Santa Cruz to help families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Low-income families have been among the hardest hit, and with the increase in internet access demands, the need for fast, reliable internet for all is imperative.
As part of the initiative, Cruzio will offer high-speed broadband service—including Wi-Fi hardware—to qualifying families. Cruzio’s offer is part of their Equal Access Santa Cruz program and supports the efforts of the Santa Cruz County Office of Education (COE) to ensure distance learning and work-from-home tools extend to all members of the community, regardless of income. The program provides families with free internet service for three months and then offers a highly discounted rate thereafter. Jason Borgen, the Chief Technology Officer for COE, had this to say of their efforts: “Our priority is to support all students and families with the resources and tools needed for distance learning—especially our most under-served students. We focus on equity and are doing everything we can to remove the digital divide from Santa Cruz County. The COE and Cruzio, working together, can truly make a difference here.”
Cruzio will install up to eight new access points at each of four new locations to deliver free or subsidized service to almost five hundred low-income families. They will deploy Aviat’s 10Gbps full-duplex WTM 4800 radios to build out new points-of-presence (PoPs) for enhanced school connectivity and to serve neighboring residents in need of subsidized internet service. As of today, all of the links have been delivered to the sites and two have been installed. 250 families are already up-and-running on the Equal Access Santa Cruz program and 500 more families have been identified for the additional builds.
“In the end, we create technologies to better serve our communities,” stated Pete Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Aviat Networks. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to help Cruzio and Santa Cruz broaden the ability to communicate, learn, and continue to advance in life, even in these difficult times.”
Cruzio is dedicated to serving all its community members and partnering in municipal initiatives that advance that goal. They chose Aviat as their trusted partner to ensure the successful deployment of these critical networks, a necessity that gives some sort of continuity to people’s lives during this difficult time.
“Our mission has always been the same,” said Chris Frost, Director of Infrastructure & Technology at Cruzio, “to offer affordable, high-quality Internet access to every home, business, and family in Santa Cruz County. Thanks to the support and vision of Aviat Networks, we’re a step closer to that goal today.”
The goal of Equal Access Santa Cruz is to bridge the digital divide and bring true high-speed broadband to all members of the Santa Cruz community, regardless of income level.