By Christy Whalen
Homeowners who live in the Covenant of Rancho Santa Fe are voting on the RSF Connect 1-Gigabit internet project, an initiative that could shape the future of the community.
This is an important vote that could have a substantial impact on the quality of life in the Covenant — it would allow members to work more efficiently from home offices, help students complete online homework, enable the operation of smart homes, provide entertainment such as rapid streaming of movies and TV shows and lead to increased property values. At 1-Gigabit speed, RSF Connect internet service would be among the fastest in the country and would make the Covenant of Rancho Santa Fe even more desirable for current and future residents.
The RSF Connect project, if approved, will include the construction of a 65- to 70-mile underground fiber-optic network that will pass every home and business in the Covenant of Rancho Santa Fe. The Association will fund the construction of the network and homeowners will be responsible for bringing a fiber cable from their property line to their home, working with an internet service provider (to be selected by the Association) or another contractor.
Why fiber optics? Fiber is great for low-density areas like the Ranch because it can carry signals long distances — about 35 miles compared to about 300 feet with copper cable. Fiber is also much more reliable than copper cable. Fiber, especially underground, is rugged and weather-proof and it costs less to operate. Finally, fiber is future-proof, meaning it is good for 50 years once installed.
However, none of the benefits of RSF Connect will be realized if homeowners don’t vote. Ballots were mailed to households in the Covenant on Sept. 11, and voters have until Oct. 4 to return ballots. The RSF Association board of directors is recommending approval of the RSF Connect 1-Gigabit project, and the ultimate decision on whether the project moves forward is now in the hands of voters. We urge property owners vote on this important project for the Covenant of Rancho Santa Fe.
Christy Whalen is Covenant Administrator and Assistant Manager of the Rancho Santa Fe Association