Work is continuing on a fiber-optic project that will bring free Wi-Fi to downtown Santa Maria and could lead to further economic growth in the area by attracting businesses through the incentive of high-speed internet.
Wave Broadband, a gigabit broadband and fiber services firm, entered into an agreement with the city earlier this year to create a fiber-optic network ring that will being high-speed internet service and connectivity to city departments, businesses, schools and residents.
On Monday, crews were stationed on Lakeview Road to continue work on the project.
The fiber-optic network will ring the heart of the city along Main Street, Miller Street, Betteravia Road and Blosser Road. Fiber spurs also will connect to the city's bus yard on Fairway Drive and to the landfill along East Main Street.
Wave Broadband officials said the project is expected to be completed later this year.
“Partnering with Wave provides tremendous benefits to the city and its customers,” City Manager Jason Stilwell said. “The community will gain access to unprecedented levels of bandwidth capacity that will impact the way they work and learn.”
The fiber ring network is the culmination of longtime infrastructure investments by the city.
For more than a decade, as city crews have made improvements to city streets and repairs to infrastructure, they have installed extra conduit tubing in anticipation of a fiber-optic network.