For EconAlliance's specific Broadband activities, click here.
Appropriate, quality, well-maintained infrastructure is critical for the prosperity of Northern Santa Barbara County industries and communities. Part of building a robust regional economy is ensuring existing and prospective companies the regional assets necessary for them to thrive.
Prosperity-building infrastructure takes many forms: access to high-speed internet and robust and reliable connectivity; effective and affordable transportation options; affordable energy, well-maintained, accessible highways, bridges and roads; affordable worker housing and commercial real estate availability are all important. Inter-modal transportation is critical to a high-performance region.
The EconAlliance Infrastructure/Broadband Initiative addresses the hard assets facilitating trade and commerce in general through periodic surveys and/or discussions with industry, policymakers and community stakeholders. Sometimes through its “Community Prosperity” activities with various communities or North County as a whole, sometimes through industry or cross-industry meetings or other stakeholder interfaces, EconAlliance helps North County monitor its infrastructure assets and highlight priority infrastructure needs. It then focuses on facilitating cross-sector solutions, recommending and making introductions to funding resources, and supporting infrastructure stakeholders wherever/however possible.
Over the years, the EconAlliance’s special infrastructure focus has become broadband enhancement. In 2018, the tri-county (Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo) broadband consortium Broadband Consortium Pacific Coast (BCPC) recruited EconAlliance to serve as its designated Santa Barbara County broadband liaison, with a focus on the North County area. As a BCPC liaison, EconAlliance provides broadband-related outreach to policymakers as well as to industry and community stakeholders. The organization provides a variety of activities: broadband update meetings, Broadband educational webinars, and an annual Broadband Forum. (See 2021 Broadband Activities)
In 2020, Infrastructure/Broadband Team Lead Chris Chirgwin and EconAlliance conceptualized a “Northern Santa Barbara County Fiber Ring Network” and EconAlliance’s focus became the development of this potential middle-mile fiber asset to address broadband enhancement in North County. (See Fiber Ring overview)