Faster Internet eyed for Tracy

Public invited to hear updates from providers

By Seth Schmidt

Faster and higher-capacity Internet services are on the horizon for Tracy, according to local business leaders.

“The way it’s been explained to me, what we now have in fiber optic capacity in Tracy is like a two-lane highway,” says Tracy businessman Mark Seager. “What’s coming in the future is going to be like a four-lane freeway.”

Local people are invited to find out more about this digital super-highway of Tracy’s future Wednesday, Feb. 21, 6:30 p.m. at The Caboose.

The Tracy Development Corporation, which has made improved broadband services in Tracy a priority, is sponsoring the meeting.

All four of Tracy’s Internet providers have been invited to give an overview of existing fiber optic cable, and outline plans for the future.

Seager said that he’s “really excited” about the new offerings he’s been told will be available soon for both fiber optic cable, as well as increased speeds for coaxial cable speeds.

VAST Communications, Charter-Spectrum, and Woodstock Communications have all confirmed that they will have representatives at the Feb. 21 meeting, Seager said. The fourth provider with an Internet presence in Tracy, Arvig, has also been invited.

Seager, who is a part of both the Tracy Development Corporation and Tracy Economic Development Authority boards, said that fast, affordable broadband services will be increasingly important for attracting new businesses to Tracy, and help existing enterprises to expand.

“Fiber optic communications are part and parcel of what is needed for business development.”

Seager’s business, Second Wind CPAP, does the majority of its business on the Internet. He feels  that e-commerce could be a vital factor in re-purposing some of the vacant commercial buildings in downtown Tracy.  The trend of people working from home, he adds, is another reason why improved fiber access is important for Tracy’s future.

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There is no charge for the Feb. 21 forum.  Seager said that both business people and homeowners will find information of interest at the forum.

The Caboose was chosen for the meeting because of its capacity to accommodate a large crowd in its ballroom.

Attendees will have the option of ordering food and beverages, at their own expense.