Positioned high on a ridge in the Santa Cruz Mountains, where the CZU fire scorched more than 80,000 acres, rests Andy Fuhrman’s new home, host to Surfnet’s towers.
Fuhrman, a dedicated and long-time Surfnet customer, lost his home during the CZU Fire. Consequently, Surfnet’s towers, which were housed on Furhman’s property, also perished, leaving many customers in the San Lorenzo valley without service.
Below, Fuhrman shares his satisfaction with how quickly the internet provider was able to restore service to the Bonny Doon community after the CZU fire was contained on the ridge.
“I can’t tell you how much we appreciated Surfnet’s quick response in rebuilding their antenna array on our property after the original installation was destroyed along with our home in the CZU fire,” said Fuhrman.
As Bonny Doon has very little cell phone coverage, the free hot spot provided a place for local residents to access the internet. Community members parked their cars on the road in front of Fuhrman’s home, and due to the strong signal, folks did not even have to step foot onto his property.
“They created a WiFi hotspot called SurfnetFreeBonnyDoon, with free access to a range of about 1/8 mile, which not only allowed me to rebuild quickly, it enabled contractors to conduct business and neighbors with kids to do their schoolwork during Covid,” said Fuhrman.
When compared to other major companies such as Comcast and AT&T, Surfnet’s response time in restoring internet service was phenomenal.
“All those companies, Verizon, AT&T and Comcast have absolutely terrible customer service. We’ve been with Surfnet for something like 15-20 years,” remarked Fuhrman, “and with Surfnet’s improved installation, we have no reason to sign up again with Comcast.”
Surfnet was instrumental in helping Fuhrman rebuild his home. Internet service allowed him to be “on-site” to deal with the daily tasks of home building. Without it, he would not have been able to phone contractors, get in touch with the local building department, speak with the soil engineer, or order important materials.
“I could not have gotten along without the wifi,” Fuhrman stated.
It was with great pride that Surfnet provided free internet access to residents of Bonny Doon during the CZU fire, while also furthering their work towards creating a digitally inclusive community.