Plea to Google: 'We could use a city of tomorrow today'
Posted March 27, 2010 1:31 p.m. EDT
Research Triangle Park, N.C. — “I’m ready to start living in the 21st century.”
“We could use a city of tomorrow today.”
Those were just two of the comments made by people across the U.S. who hope that their community is given the opportunity to partner with search engine giant Google on its proposed community broadband project.
Some pretty unique offers were made, too, from naming first-born children “Google Fiber” in Duluth, Minn., to renaming an Iowa city after Google to a Raleigh City Council member saying he would name his twins in honor of Google’s co-founders.
Google encouraged community groups to also create excitement and seek broad support for their collective efforts. Among the leaders in the buzz efforts were Greensboro and Asheville, according to a social media company in Grand Rapids, Mich. That is tracking the Google project.
More than 1,100 communities approached Google Inc. in hopes of landing one of the ultra-fast broadband networks that the company plans to build in a handful of spots around the country.
Among them are groups in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill-Carrboro-UNC Chapel Hill, Greensboro and Asheville.
“Since we announced our plans to build experimental, ultra high-speed broadband networks, the response has been tremendous,” Google said in a blog at its fiber project Web site.
“Hundreds of communities and hundreds of thousands of individuals across the country have expressed their interest in the project. We're not going to be able to build in every interested community – our plan is to reach a total of at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people – but we hope to learn lessons from this experiment that will help improve Internet access everywhere,” the post added.
“We humbly thank each and every community and individual for taking the time to participate. If one message has come through loud and clear, it's this: People across the country are hungry for better and faster Internet access.”
Last month, Google said it will build experimental fiber-optic networks that will deliver Internet connections of 1 gigabit per second to as many as 500,000 Americans. That would be up to 300 times faster than the broadband services reaching most U.S. homes today.
Friday was the deadline for governments and citizens to express interest. Google said the response has been "tremendous and creative," with communities using everything from YouTube videos to Facebook groups to public rallies to promote themselves. The company will announce winners by the end of the year.