My favorite “river town” was destined to become the hub for Telecom Valley when Don Green, founder of Digital Telephone Systems (1969) conceived of Optilink and moved to Petaluma in 1987, after leaving DTS. He then went on to manage DCS (1990) and Alcatel (1998), before establishing Advanced Fibre Communications (AFC) in 1992.

The various telecommunications hardware and software companies (N-39) that followed throughout the 1990s and dotted the U.S. Highway 101 corridor helped Telecom Valley to be recognized worldwide as an industry hub. The entrepreneurial spirit created by the “daddy” of Telecom Valley spilled over into the larger community of citizens who were interested in how the effectiveness, the efficiency, and the economic status of their projects and programs, regardless of the community sector: e.g. business, education, government, health care, and non-profits, could be improved.

One such, non-governmental organization (NGO) – PetalumaNet – was founded in 1995 to build a “Smart Community” through greater use of ICT (information and communication technology.) Over time, it became known as the Petaluma CyberCity Roundtable, and eventually was instrumental in getting the Petaluma City Council to unanimously approved the creation of a Technology and Telecommunication Advisory Committee in order to keep the community up-to-date with its use of information and communication technologies.

Today, this committee plus the City’s IT staff have an opportunity to take that “giant step” into the world of fiber optics with the help of the current Google offer to build an ultra-fast Internet network somewhere in the U.S.  Just as the invention of the “incubator” in 1879 put Petaluma on the world map as the “Egg Capital of the World,” Google has another opportunity to increase its own international reputation by establishing a partnership with the City of Petaluma – a community second to none when it comes to innovation and experimentation. For the past 15 years, PetalumaNet has always believed that … the greatest resource of any community is the collective wisdom, intellect, and creativity of its citizens. We want Google to know that although we Think Globally About CyberSpace, we Act Locally in Our CyberPlace.


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