Google's offer to test 1G-bps broadband access in U.S. communities drew responses from more than 1,100 communities and 194,000 individuals, the search engine said after the March 26 deadline passed. Google is pleased with the results and offered a map of where the responses were concentrated. Google's contention has always been that speedier data access will result in more frequent access of Web applications such as its YouTube video-sharing site, which is seeing 24 hours of video clips poured into it per minute. Google will spend months reviewing the applications.
Google's offer to test ultra-fast broadband access in U.S.
communities drew responses from more than 1,100 communities and 194,000
individuals, who showed significant interest in receiving free Internet access
at 1G bps.
Google, which began soliciting
towns and cities to test broadband networks for
50,000 to 500,000 users last month, set a deadline
of March 26 for interested communities to
submit their proposals to receive Internet access at more than 100 times the
current speeds provided by Internet service providers.
The deadline passed, and the applications are in. Google is pleased with the
results and offered this no-frills map
of where the responses were concentrated. Each
small dot represents a government response. The large dots represent locations
where more than 1,000 residents submitted a nomination.
Google Product Manager James Kelly noted
: "We've seen cities rename themselves, great YouTube
videos, public rallies and hundreds of grassroots Facebook groups come to life,
all with the goal of bringing ultra high-speed broadband to their communities."
Indeed, representatives from municipalities all over the United
States got quite creative lobbying
to be Google's guinea-pigs-in-fiber.
temporarily renamed City Island
with Sarasota Mayor Richard Clapp jumping
shark tank to show his dedication for the cause. In Duluth,
Minn., Mayor Don Ness jumped
Superior. Minnesota Sen. Al Franken joined
in spirit, if not in the freezing water.
To what end? Kelly said Google will spend months reviewing the applications.
This will include conducting site visits, meeting with local officials and
consulting with third-party organizations to determine where to build out their
fiber to homes. The company will announce its target community (or communities)
before the year's end.
The bidding closure comes a week after the Federal Communications Commission
unveiled its National Broadband Plan, a 10-year effort to provide
1G-bps broadband access to 100 million household in the United
States, among other things.
That would dovetail well with Google's current fiber plans, which are
designed to accelerate the rate at which content travels to users' computers.
Google's contention has always been that speedier data access will result in
more frequent access of Web applications such as its YouTube video-sharing
site, which is seeing 24 hours of video clips poured into it per minute.
Google eventually hopes to extend YouTube, search and other Web apps from
personal computers to consumers' televisions through the Google TV
project. The end goal is increasing apps usage,
thereby showing users more digital advertising.
Testing high-speed broadband networks is one way to facilitate this new
model, possibly prompting ISPs who feel compelled to match Google's efforts or
risk being left behind.