The Rancho Santa Fe Post

Op-Ed: Everything Connects Better With Fiber Cable

Leonardo Da Vinci's genius could not only be seen through his art, but his vision. He said:

"To develop a complete mind: Study the art of science; study the science of art. Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else."

What a beautiful and profound message.

We are all connected. Engaging and relating with others, feeling a sense of community and welcome, and making that human connection are all so invaluable to how we are shaped and who we become.

Considering the difficulty of implementing new technology in the Ranch, we may indeed need to follow Leonardo's lead and realize that there's an art to engaging all of us in a new science. 

I don't consider myself a Luddite, but I will confess that I recall asking a close friend in my college freshman year what the point was of her "emailing" classmates in the downstairs lab's "intranet." My technological prowess has improved over the last few decades, but I still have a mini panic attack and call my brother in Nashville if my latest Amazon installment of "Outlander" is buffering.

Who knew the work "buffering" or, even more common, "failure to send" would be such an integral part of our modern day parlance -- especially in the Ranch. I have always been in love with our pastoral, countryside aesthetic. But it would be divine to not have to scurry in my bathrobe down the hall to find reception for a business call. Or, walk up the driveway to send a text with - oh no! - a photo attached. I would love to not have to pay for a $300 Verizon booster that has never stopped blinking red.

But our one-bar reception day may almost be over. Rancho Santa Fe could be one of the first communities in the country to construct a 10-gigabit-ready fiber-optic Internet service network. If Leonardo were alive, I think he'd be proud of our Board's negotiation skills.

But seriously, it doesn't take a genius' vision to see how much improved technology will strengthen our connections inside and outside the Ranch.

We can still maintain the old world charm that makes the Ranch so appealing, while simultaneously catapulting us into the forefront of 21st-century communities.

As many of us know, most traditional Internet services are provided by DSL, cable, or wireless companies to end users through shared copper cables, much like electricity. The big downside of this technology is that the farther away the service provider is to the patron, the slower the connectivity is. I am convinced my provider is based in China. Additionally, this old technology can't handle the level of speed our new media demands.

On the other hand, fiber-optic technology ensures that we all have lightening-fast Internet. The difference is like phoning customer service and getting a call center rep in Bangladesh versus a local employee who shows up instantaneously at your door. The service is seamless. Beam me up Scotty!

I'm ready to be teleported to fiber where I can finally have a reliable and efficient Internet, television, and phone service at warp speed.

The limits are endless, because the bandwidth is at much higher levels that are required for things like Netflix (yes!), our alarm systems, and future advances in technology like 4K video.

This Leonardo Da Vinci-level, state-of-the-art infrastructure is critical to keeping all of us connected when we, of course, want to be connected.

That's the beauty of the Ranch. We can feel like we are a million miles away from civilization when we want to, but how invaluable it is it to have a choice?

The current RSFA Board has taken bold strides in seeking a solution to the absence of effective broadband connectivity in the Covenant. Let's not lose the momentum on this. It will provide all of us with a critical part of modern life. Everything does indeed connect. Let's reach out a hand, pick up the phone, or send an email.

Life in the Ranch is better when we are connected.