A little while back I wrote about the state of the Ranch’s Internet, where it felt like we were in a dizzying time loop of revisiting the same issues but not moving much toward the high-speed service light at the end of what seemed like a very dark, endless tunnel. I concluded that “for the sake of our quality of life, real estate values, and patience, I hope I’m proved terribly wrong.” Ladies and gentlemen, I humbly stand corrected, and I hope my jaundiced and curmudgeonly outlook on Ranch connectivity continues to be lightened and regenerated by the RSFA Board’s and Tech Committees’s hard work and progress on the matter.
As an August community-wide vote on the Association’s high-speed Internet project, RSF Connect, nears, there have been great strides taken to pull loose ends of the project together and increase community outreach on the subject. At the July 6 RSFA monthly Board meeting, it was shown that headway was being made with the County on two broad issues: 1) A legal agreement to allow the RSFA to dig into County roads in order to run the near 60 miles of fiber optic lines under the streets (residents will then have a choice to not be connected, use the RSFA-chosen Internet Service Provider (ISP), or their own contractor to find the best route to run cable from their street to their home), and 2) The exact construction method to use, i.e., what type of micro-trench is to be applied to lay the cable underground.
Within the Association, the Board and Finance Committee are working toward finalizing project cost estimates and end-user pricing. RSFA Director and Tech Committee Co-Chair Rick Sapp relayed at the July 6 meeting that an ISP for the project has been chosen, but their name will not be made public until final negotiations have been made.
Before the Board commits the necessary funds for this project, the August community-wide vote will allow residents to review the details of the undertaking, such as cost breakdowns, budget projections, timing, etc. and cast their ballot. With so much at stake, considering this is one of the biggest, most important projects Rancho Santa Fe has likely ever seen, the Board voted unanimously on July 6 to appoint President Fred Wasserman, Director Rick Sapp, and Treasurer Janet Danola, to a special subcommittee to work with Association staff members in creating the ballot and education materials for this vote.
The community outreach on the subject has been impressive. If one gets online to www.rsfconnect.com, he or she will find a good resource for up-to-date info on the ins and outs of what all of this fiber optic fanfare really means to the Ranch. There’s a helpful FAQ’s section and updated news and background information on the topic.
Within a relatively short amount of time (construction will likely take between 18 to 30 months), we could be the most connected community in California. With the ability to access 1-gigabyte speeds per second at home, residents will have an Internet that is 125 times faster than the average home in the golden state. I don’t know about you, but after all these years of the Ranch real-estate price lag, and the bucolic yet byte-free Rancho vortex, it feels good that we might just give our high-flying LA selfie generation and Silicon Valley tech geeks a run for their money. Don’t have cell service, darling? Should have moved to Rancho!