Fiber Optics is the 100-Mile Communications Backbone of Santa Clara

Just as most of us don’t think twice about where power comes from when we flip a switch youdoodle-2016-10-31t11-23-51z_resizedand the light comes on, rarely do we consider how all that information arrives on our computer screen when we search the Internet. But somewhere in that millisecond journey from a database to your screen, the information passed through hundreds if not thousands of miles of fiber optic cable.

Fiber is the backbone of the Internet as well as critical for numerous companies in our city that rely on high-speed and reliable communications conduits. We entered into the fiber business almost by accident. Many years ago, we wanted the fastest, most reliable and best modern method for sending and receiving data to and from our electric substations, control room and throughout our local grid system.

The answer was a fiber optics network that helped us achieve higher power reliability. In 1995, our leaders came up with the idea of laying down far more fiber capacity than we needed immediately, figuring that future demand from customers as well as our utility would be well served by that extra capacity. That’s how we now have over 100 miles of fiber optic cable in our city, and that number continues to grow.

Our business customers jumped on the opportunity to use an already-established fiber infrastructure to enhance their communications abilities and make those capabilities available to their own customers. The SVP Fiber Enterprise was born 16 years ago and continues to provide data centers and corporations with a most modern, reliable and scalable dark fiber network today. When fiber optic cable is first built and made available for use, it’s called dark fiber. Once electronic equipment is added to each end, the fiber lights up and transmits data via virtually error-free single mode fiber optic cable capable of up to 2 terabits of data per second. That’s 100,000 times faster than today’s consumer speeds at home.

We continually monitor its operation, and a professional fiber team offers technical expertise, engineering design, construction, splicing, and upgrade assistance, as well as on-going tech support and customer service. Santa Clara’s dark fiber system plant has a stellar reputation for reliability and customer service.

That makes sense. After all, those are a couple of the key attributes we pride ourselves on here.

Standing Up for Customers Yields Standout Award

It was great to be ranked at a record high level for customer satisfaction in a customer survey earlier this summer. The independent research firm that does these surveys, RKS Research of New NN7_3461-01York, also asks customers what they appreciate or want to see from their utility. Along with low cost and reliability, our customers always ask that we keep communications high on our list of priorities.

So we were delighted when an industry award for outstanding customer communications was given yesterday to our top customer services executive, Larry Owens.  The Northwest Public Power Association gave Larry its lifetime achievement award to recognize his work here for the past 20 years. The award honors remarkable work in the areas of marketing and communication and lifetime commitment to the public power industry.

Larry has driven us to develop strategies that have won widespread community support for the City’s electric utility. He makes every effort to deliver what our customers need or want to know in a timely and effective manner. The results are remarkable. Customer satisfaction and solid trust in SVP have been repeatedly and dramatically validated in independent surveys.

All of us value communications with our customers. Not only do we try to let you know what’s happening with your utility, but we welcome your feedback too. If you have a suggestion or a question, let us know at info@siliconvalleypower.com.