California Institute of Art teams with Santa Clarita

Cost-saving internet service

OW Staff Writer | 7/24/2020, midnight

The City of Santa Clarita has announced a three-year agreement with the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) for LIT (a provider of mobility technology solutions) transport service that will facilitate gigabit high-speed Internet service for the college. The new agreement allows for cost savings and more Internet Service Provider (ISP) choices for CalArts, along with revenue generation for the City.

Approval of the new agreement was announced at the July 14 City Council meeting. CalArts’ current internet connection of 1 Gbps costs them eight times more per month than a comparable service using an ISP in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA). The City of Santa Clarita’s Fiber Optic Network (FON) will help ease costs and internet connection concerns for CalArts to better support students and staff. Construction is anticipated to take place during the summer to enable the connection to be available to CalArts before the beginning of their fall semester.

“We are very excited to be collaborating with the City of Santa Clarita on this project,” said CalArts’ Associate Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jesse Smith. “We are honored to be the first local business to collaborate on the expansion of internet connectivity for the Santa Clarita Valley. This will help CalArts expand its technology infrastructure, provide greater access and allow for new options in providers. We hope this is the first of many collaborations with the City, state government, local businesses and innovative entrepreneurs.”

In June 2019, the City Council approved an agreement to lease two dark fiber strands to DTLA, in hopes of lowering barriers to entry for new ISP’s to Santa Clarita. Additionally, the City issued a Request for Proposals on July 2 for a “Public-Private Partnership to Provide High-Speed Internet Service to Local Businesses” to market its fiber-optic network to interested ISPs.

The leasing of the dark fiber strands in 2019, along with the City’s new agreement with CalArts, support the goals identified in Santa Clarita 2020: “To provide recommendations and strategies on how to ensure high-speed internet access to business parks, and establish a revenue-generating program that utilizes existing fiber infrastructure to leverage resources and potentially promote greater bandwidth access to the community.”

To learn more about the City’s agreement with CalArts, Fiber Optic Network and more, contact Benny Ives, of Santa Clarita Information Technology manager, at bives@santa-clarita.com.