Santa Cruz creates tech plan, looks at broadband, open data

The Santa Cruz City Council is working to link up the city’s disparate technology efforts to create greater transparency and improve service delivery. A new three-part initiative aims to help local technology companies grow while centralizing public works through better use of technology.

The initative is the result of a task force created by the city that brought in local technology industry leaders and city officials to examine how Santa Cruz can leverage their local technology sector to better the city. Through this plan, business leaders and city officials have crafted a series of directives that will serve as a strategic technology plan. The city plans to address everything from broadband to transparency.

Santa Cruz lacks funds to develop a broadband initiative on its own which is part of why the task force came into existence. The city hopes that by working with providers and tech sector leaders they can encourage citywide broadband deployment albeit indirectly. The plan aims to “lower the barriers to develop new fiber routes,” by installing city-owned conduits for rent to telecommunications providers, who will supply the cables.

A second initiative is designed to increase transparency in the municipal government by creating ways for agencies and offices to share information. The plan encourages the use of uniform standards for software deployments and workflows so that information can be shared more easily. The task force also included an open data recommendation to get more municipal data online and available to public workers and individual residents.