Santa Maria sets initiative to build own internet network – KEYT

SANTA MARIA, Calif. – The City of Santa Maria has set forth a campaign to save money by investing in a cheaper and more efficient internet network, which in turn will save taxpayers money.
The city has titled the new initiative Smart City, Safe City.

Santa Maria city officials are moving forward with a city plan to build a fast internet network.
The network will bring WiFi to municipal departments businesses, schools, and eventually resident. 

“This will save taxpayers money,” said Santa Maria City public information officer Mark Van de camp.

The long term investment will result in the city building its own fiber-optic network. 
“It’s a fiber optic ring around the downtown core,” said Van de Camp.

The system will save the city money by doing away with commercial carriers and enabling them to own half of the fiber optics.  

“We are having the system built in conjunction with Wave Broadband, which is a recognized company out of Seattle that has done this kind of network for other communities,” said Van de Camp.

The city is using the network as a cost-saving pitch to woo other businesses into town. 
The city says the network will be a great benefit to the agriculture industry giving them access to large amounts of data usage. 
“We think that we can attract more companies, including high tech companies that are looking for this type of dependable solution for their needs,” said Van de Camp.

The networks servers will be in a very secure location. 

“We also have a very secure data center that they can use and that’s located in the safest place in town, right inside the Santa Maria Police Station,” said Van de Camp.

A handful of businesses have already signed up.
The network will link all the city organizations together and be used to give residents a faster response with more information for calls of services.

“Eventually we will migrate entirely to this gigabit system and it will be a lot quicker, so we can be more efficient. It will also enable a number of apps that our public safety can use,” said Van de camp.

There is a hefty price tag that will come along with the high-speed network but it will be a one-time investment. 
“There is an increase to the existing agreement around $450,000 and that’s one time,” said Van de Camp. 

The city hopes to have the network begin installation later this year. 


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