What's So Big About a Gig?

BASICALLY, IT'S ABOUT TIME

Most of us have had the experience of waiting for the Internet. Waiting for an file to download. Waiting for a Netflix movie. Waiting for the little wheelie to stop spinning, so we can get to what we need or want to do. Waiting is a waste of time, and it's frustrating.

Fiber is important and high speed internet is an essential service

In Santa Cruz, we've been waiting more than most other cities in California. Our area's geography is challenging, and our city fairly small, so we've been left with old-fashioned, slow connections to the rest of the world.

It's bad enough to have to wait for a video or a web page, but when slow speeds affect our medical facilities, or schools, or put local businesses at a disadvantage, clearly the situation is serious. It's about time we did something about our Internet connections.

Lots of technologies have promised to be fast, but since they have used more limited physical infrastructure they've made only marginal improvements. What we need is to go big.

What we need is fiber.

Fiberoptic cables are made of spun glass, surrounded by protective insulation. They can carry almost infinite amounts of data at -- literally -- the speed of light. They don't require much power and hold a signal for a really long distance. We need to replace, or at least augment, the old copper cables that currently go to our homes and office buildings with fiberoptics, or "fiber."

Here's how much faster fiber is:

Fiber Speed Comparison

Let's go straight to fiber.

Fiber infrastructure is "future-proof" because its vast capacity can handle more than just the applications we use today. Ten years ago, we didn't download movies or send human genomes from place to place. Ten years from now, newer and more data-intensive technologies will be part of everyday life. With fiber, we'll be able to deal with whatever comes our way.

Growth of Internet Traffic