When Google said that it will build broadband networks that zip 1 gigabit of data per second to users' computers in a handful of regions in the United States, the search engine touched off quite the competition for its experiment. Google asked communities interested in being its guinea pigs for the test to volunteer for the test by March 26. With that deadline hurtling near, counties are ratcheting up the rhetoric, making their cases for why they should be among the chosen few. Mayors in Sarasota, Fla. and Topeka, Kansas renamed their cities "Google" and pulled wacky stunts to draw attention. Others just built Web sites. Check them out.
When Google last month
to build and test ultra high speed broadband networks, it touched off
quite a competition among city leaders from the East coast to the West coast who
want their municipalities to be among those to go Google.
Google Feb. 10 said that it will build broadband networks
that zip 1 gigabit of data per second to users' computers in a handful of
regions in the United States. The idea is to reach 50,000 to 500,000 people,
possibly generating new applications such as streaming high-definition video
content and real-time multimedia collaboration.
communities interested in being its guinea pigs for the test to volunteer
for the test by March 26. With that deadline hurtling near, counties are
ratcheting up the rhetoric, making their cases for why they should be among the
A few years ago, the idea that Google might join carriers
and ISPs in delivering fiber to the home might seem like an anathema to the
world's largest search engine, which at the time was sticking to search and Web
But with users' consumption of Web video apps such as
YouTube reaching 24 hours a minute in 2010, along with the boost in popularity
host of social networking, gaming and work-related apps, Google has decided it
is time to own the pipes that shuttle this data.
At the least it may spur carriers to open up their
networks as the Federal Communication Commission's National Broadband Plan,
for speedier broadband access to residential communities, gets underway.
Why not Google, a company with hundreds of thousands of
servers that pack immense computing power in a parallel grid all over the world?
Arbor Networks, which sells network- monitoring equipment to ISPs, said
would be the third largest ISP in the world based purely on the glut of traffic
it pipes to other networks.
Against that backdrop, here is a list of what some cities
are doing to curry favor with Google.
Topeka, Kans.:Renamed itself
"Google, Kansas - the capital city of fiber optics."
Mayor Don Ness
into Lake Superior in just a T-shirt and shorts. All right you other
said in this YouTube video
. "You want Google Fiber, you jump into Lake
This city has gone Google. Seriously. Sarasota
City Island Google Island. Sarasota Mayor Richard Clapp jumped into a shark tank to show his dedication. Moreover, the
city is hosting a free concert with Lindsey Ray
Folks in Baltimore
site that uses Google Maps to plot the location of more than 1,000
offering their reasons for wanting the service.
Grand Rapids, Mich.:
Michigan is seriously hot for Google
broadband. A group calling itself Grand Rapids Technology Partners has been
to emphasize the city's Google viability on social networks.
Ann Arbor, Mich.:
City executives and officials from the
University of Michigan
locals to post their preference on Facebook and YouTube, and launched this Web site
to lure Google.
"If they are able to pull this off, it puts us in the position of being
one of the top technology areas of the country," said
John Foster, a
partner in Convergent Technology Partners.
Others in the mix included Google's hometown of
Mountain View, Calif.
Prince William County, Va.
, Bellingham, Wa.
There will no doubt be a flurry of new entrants into the
Google fiber-to-the-home sweepstakes as we race toward the finish line this