The mayor of Sarasota, Florida, swam with sharks. Topeka, Kansas, temporarily changed its name to Google, Kansas. And in Duluth, Minnesota, the head of city government jumped into a frigid lake with ice chunks floating on the surface.
Why? To beg Google for better broadband.
More than 1,100 cities and towns have asked Google to speed up their Internet connections as part of the company's "Google Fiber" project. The search-engine giant says it will build the infrastructure for affordable, ultra-high-speed Internet connections in one or more communities, with the hopes of serving 50,000 to 500,000 people. Google plans to choose the winning community or communities by the end of the year.
The Mountain View, California-based company thanked mayors across the country for submitting "tremendous and creative" requests that the experimental network be build in their cities.
"We're thrilled to see this kind of excitement, and we want to humbly thank each and every community and individual for taking the time to participate," project manager James Kelly wrote on Google's blog.
"This enthusiasm is much bigger than Google and our experimental network. If one message has come through loud and clear, it's this: people across the country are hungry for better and faster Internet access."
Google says its connection will be hundreds of times faster than average Internet speeds in the U.S. today - with data transfer rates of 1 gigabit per second. Google hopes to accomplish that speed by bringing fiber optic cables straight to peoples' homes.
The country's average broadband speed ranked 18th in the world in a recent report from Internet monitor Akamai. South Korea was the world leader. Iceland, Latvia and Slovakia both had connection speeds faster than those in the U.S.
In addition to the 1,100 official requests from communities, more than 194,000 individuals wrote Google asking the company to install faster connections in their areas.
This all comes as the U.S. federal government debates a plan to speed up Internet connections across the country, and to make the Web more accessible to Americans.
What do you think makes Google's fiber-to-the-home project so popular with mayors? Would you jump in a near-frozen lake for better broadband? Let us know with a comment on this post.
Posted by: John D. Sutter -- CNN.com writer/producerFiled under: broadband Google Internet
Sorry, I think this is a hoax ;o)
Shudda been done a long time ago, but once you have it, you're gonna be disappointed to discover that the rest of the internet infrastructure is so darn slow that local fiber-to-home won't hardly make any difference for ya, compared to cable or DSL. The servers you're connecting to need to be on fiber as well.
one of our city councilmen in Raleigh NC is offering to name his twins after the Google founders Larry and Sergey - http://www.newsobserver.com/2010/03/26/408112/councilman-offers-to-name-his.html
I dont know about jumping in frozen water, but I would definitely like to have a connection at one Gigabit per second connection!
>>What do you think makes Google's fiber-to-the-home project so popular with mayors?
Votes. Pure and simple. Check to see if the Mayors in question have an election coming up. Providing high speed internet to his community would add a lot of credibility to his campaign.
After watching the explosion of business on the internet over the last 10-15 years, why would ANY community (or the country, for that matter!) NOT WANT a faster internet? Talk about a no-brainer!! And as far as politicians wanting faster internet for votes, were you asleep during the last election?? I was bombarded with electioneering, 'cause they can't do it on the street or at the polls anymore!! As my buddy Willie Wine used to say...."ain't no change!"
LOL – Raleigh must be DESPERATE. Heard that his wife didn't know that he announced it. What a DORK! If this is what Raleigh is all about then I'm staying FAR away from that location and I'm sure Google will too! LOL
Faster Internet means faster virus transmission. Who wouldn't want that?
It seems like Google is manipulating cities and in return getting free publicity. There should be rules to stop this.
Would a city change it's name to Cambells the for a 1/1000 chance of getting discounted soup?
Their are changing the name here to Google Hollar
Ubik: My Mayor isn't up for reelection he has put in a lot of effort to try and persuade google to pick my city. Some leaders actually care about the city they represent, and not just about a job. I'm sorry if you don't live in one of those places. Sad.
To those thinking that the "middle" infrastructure will be too slow – hate to tell you this has been in the works for years. Google bought up tons of the fiber optics that was laid by AT&T – i think that was back in 2006. I assure you "yes they can". It's no different than when the cable companies setup shop ages ago. They charged a lot then – googles "affordable" charges remain an obscure statement. is that $100 per month? offering high speed internet, cable and pay per view?? or just high speed internet. Perhaps streaming movies for rent.
Here is what I would do (actually have done) since we did this last Friday for Google Fiber – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JV33NOSSxdo
This is a marketing pitch. There is a reason why Google is doing this in a small community. They are having to spend millions of dollars for almost no ROI. By the time this kind of infrastructure will be monetarily feasible nationwide, all ISP's will be doing it too. Google is just trying to get more attention to their name. Any ISP could do what they are doing in a small community. But small communities don't pay the bills to make corporations prosper. Just another good marketing ploy by Google.
A private citizen beat the mayor to the punch here in Charleston WV. Read it here under NEWS – http://www.google4charleston.info
Why does the government have to debate it?? That's what's wrong with America now..GOVERNMENT!!!
If this is about extending Internet to more Americans – what difference does faster speed make? I would think the federal money would go to rolling out broad band in rural America to people that do not have access to the Internet except via dial-up or the cell phone tower. Making it simply faster in cities that already have it doesn't accomplish the goal.
Exactly! Speeding up or getting the Fiber Optics to the home means nothing unless the Database and Networks/Servers are also new and Fiber Optic, but we will see i guess
Personally, I think using the term "beg" is rather insulting and derogatory. I am part of an effort to "convince" Google to include our small community in its fiber project and I doubt that you'd find anyone here "begging" for it.
Why isn't Alaska on the map? Forget the fact that we are the BIGGEST state in the union, and instead try and remember that we ARE a state in the union. I wrote my local assembly members to make sure that Anchorage was in the running for this and they verified that we were. So, WHY ISN'T ALASKA ON THE MAP? Have we already been eliminated from the list? Maybe we are too close to China for Google's comfort. Maybe it's because of Sarah Palin. Maybe it's because for the past 30 years, school books have depicted Alaska being off the west coast of Mexico. Who knows?
Iceland, Latvia and Slovakia both had connection speeds faster than those in the U.S.
Both? I count 3.
Years ago, the big telecoms asked for huge tax breaks from the gov. In return, they promised to reinvest some of the windfall into improving their networks. They got the breaks, but invested the windfall into their back pockets, leaving many areas broken down on the side of the "information superhighway".
Google's next fight will be with the telecoms (and cable companies) who will sue them just like they sued the city of Lafayette, LA when their citizens decided not to wait for the telecoms and cable companies to upgrade their networks "in 10 years or so" as they planned.
It is pretty telling how low people will go to get the things they so desire. Cities and municipalities groveling to Google to get their cities "wired." Before they get ahead of themselves, I would urge them to take a look at the so called tech advanced nations and see just exactly what the effects of being wired has been. Gaming and internet addiction is rampant in countries such as South Korea, the most wired nation in the world...so rampant that there is now a nationwide program/initiative to discourage internet/gaming use. There is a story of a couple who let their 3 month infant die of malnutrition because they were so busy feeding their "virtual" pet on-line. There is a story of a boy who killed his mom because he was annoyed that she nagged him so much about playing Starcraft, one of the on-line games.
Sure, the town that gets Google's offer will reap the instant benefits of being the most wired city in the US, and probably gain some financial windfall to go with that popularity. But what you get as tradeoff may be far worse in the long run: increased dependence on internet/computers, breakdown of social communications, degradation of morals and values that made your community what it is today.
http://www.google.com/appserve/fiberrfi/ – Alaska and Hawaii are not forgotten !
This is very real. it's quite apparent Google is starting in a small community as a test bed for everywhere else. They make money on advertising and are not tied to utility beaurocratics like very telecom out there which means they can get going much faster. There are also many ways of rolling this out which I'm sure Google is investigating if they haven't picked the top 3 methods already.
Really? Come on! While the cost for Fiber has dropped dramatically it has not dropped to the price of copper. Any roll-out of fiber would not be blanketed, so only those in the right neighborhood would benefit, meaning those with newer homes or that live close to the hubs. Be honest with yourself fiber in the home is still a few generations away from being a reality to the average American citizen.
Not a Hoax. Our town literally walked our application all the way to Google's headquarters.
Over 100 mile pilgrimmage...
I would love to see the entire US with the fastest internet speeds in the world, as well as the lowest cost for internet in the world. Though, I think no cost at all would be even better. It would really help our country's economy and education.
I don't have a middle name. I'd be willing to add "Google" as my middle name. For real.
if the internet was any faster I wouldn't know it..
to all the people who say you dont need faster net or it wont be much different . the main reason to have more speed these days is
more then one person uses the net at same time ! and most people are doing bandwidth hungry things like video – music – games
you cant play a game on a slow conneciton while someone is
downloading or watghing HD video ( well you can but it will be
"Years ago, the big telecoms asked for huge tax breaks from the gov. In return, they promised to reinvest some of the windfall into improving their networks. They got the breaks, but invested the windfall into their back pockets, leaving many areas broken down on the side of the "information superhighway"
Don't worry, the free market will take care of the problem. Oh, the free market IS the problem.
Why even bother to increase broadband speeds–if you have Vista on your pc you are no better ,and perhaps even worse, than 56K dial up. I have 1.5 megs and it is no better than dialup.
I know in large cities there is high speed internet. But in small towns and rural areas, high speed internet is more scarce. I really think we need to focus on providing high speed internet options to rural areas.
For all of you people who are saying that "This doesn't do any good unless the servers are hooked up to fiber as well" I've got news for you...most servers are already running on fiber. It's time for the US to catch up to the rest of the world and offer fiber to the home.
They can brag about high connection numbers all they want, but the fact of the matter is I have yet to see a internet server serve data faster than 2.5 MB/S. That is only 20 megabit. There is too much traffic on the web for you to take advantage of a fat connection pipe. A 125MB (1 gigabit) connection is useless while the average computer is equipped with a hard drive that only writes 50MB/S......
I guess Alaska and Hawaii don't count as States? I know that Fairbanks has put in their request and I believe at least one city in Hawaii. CNN please remember that there are 50 States.
A lot of cities have done great things to get a chance for a highspeed network, it's not just about votes or money, but improving the community This is what my city (Somerville MA) did.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4Ij2QT5H7s
I just want more options to drive down the ridiculous cost of TWC.
You're only as fast as your slowest link
@Hickory,NC – There's an old saying from that area.
"They don't call it Hickory because of the hicks – it's because of the NUTS."
Born & raised there :-)
Already have fiber to the home in my town, the AllFiberCity – Fort Wayne, IN. Verizon is already connecting homes to provide fast Internet, phone, and TV service. It's fast. But, not happy with the way Verizon soaks me for monthly charges (greater than $130.00/month.) But, I guess that is what I have to pay for fast service.
Call Al Gore, he'll fix this problem for everyone. He created the internet.
Would love to have the fast connection and pay less than the current rip-off bundled rate that Comcast provides.
April 1st is coming. Remember the broadband through the plumbing a few years back? Actually, I believe them to be serious about this one.
If you want to see what the internet can be like, visit any large tech oriented university campus. I routinely get 30-90Mb/s to my desk at work from well connected sites. Thanks to Qwest, I'm luck to get 1/5 of the 5Mb/s I pay for at my home a mile away. :(
Google loves to "toy" with communities and enjoys seeing people fawn all over each other in return for a "chance" for them to grace that community. Google does a great job at what they do but I've never seen a company more in love with itself than Google.
I would jump ina frozen lake cause I am a sissy but I'd sure be glad and use it all the time for online gaming. FOR THE H0RD3!!!
My vote goes to San Luis Obispo, California.
The greatest little city in the running.
I don't see what the big fuss is about. The Top-of-the-line PC's aren't capable of handling more than 100Mbps, so what is the point of a Gbps into your homes. First things should be first. Develop network cards that are capable of more than a Gpbs before you worry about getting fiber-optics into each home.
I agree with Andrew...what benefit is having a faster "pipe line" if the website supplier is only capable of a drip at a time...it's not going to change how fast pages are displayed...
Actually, that's untrue Andrew... Anyone that's used FiOS knows that it speeds things up dramatically. I've consistently gotten downloads at 2MB/sec+, which just doesn't happen on Cable. Cable never operates at the theorietical 'max' speed.
To those who misunderstand: the speed of your home card isn't the bottleneck. You currently aren't receiving data at nearly the maximum rate of your network interface (or the speed of the delivery fiber networks) because the bottleneck mainly happens between the ISP and the port in your wall.
Although gigabit cards will become standard, you're nowhere close to maxing out their transfer rate with cable and DSL.
how about we all quit arguing and just see what happens when they turn it on?
please pick Portland, please pick Portland, please pick Portland...
Expanding the internet would create thousands of jobs all over the country to the point of creating an excess of installation jobs where people could make extra income by becoming an installation technician or customer service representative.
My town applied for this and then co-opted a piece in the paper as if they were the only ones that had a chance.
Go with Elkhart County, IN. Its the perfect place to test the system out.
What about the legitimate small businesses that already provide broadband in these towns, and have been doing so for years??? Instead we beg for more free stuff that will first destroy what already exists, to only later end up either costing more or just disappearing completely?
What a messed up world we live in.
Most of these communities, mine included, wanted demonstrate how important the rapid exchange of information and ideas is to our future. Somehow I hope all of these responses shows how hungry Americans are to participate in an exciting future where communicating information is so important.
Building infrastructure is not about necessarily fulfilling todays needs, but anticipating those of tomorrow. I know that 10 years ago DSL seemed like all you would ever need, but when YouTube showed up DSL became a bare minimum. Sure we may not need that 1Gbs today, but if we want any of these new "smart" innovations (like the smart power grid) we will need improved and more consistent internet infrastructure in our cities and towns.
Infrastructure is all about providing a framework for further growth. I am sure people did not see the point of the US interstate system when it was first started, but we would be screwed today if we hadn't built it. There may be many things we have not yet imagined that a more connected country will enable, so until we (or rather Google) try it we will never know.
OH GOD! THE LEACH IS BACK!
OH GOD! THE LEACH IS BACK!... J/K :p
Vote for Huntington, WV!
Every computer has a Gigabit eth port by now. Yes your computer can handle 1Gbs pipe.
If nobody has a Gbs pipe nobody will ever make stuff for it. And don't think simple websites, think big. Theoretical limit on 1Gbs pipe is 100 megs per second (2 parity bits). Then you have whatever protocol overhead. So figure like 80 megs is your best case realistic scenario. That's still good enough for full HD video streaming. Now think about it, you could even game remotely. You could buy the dumbest computer in the world, all it would do is connect to a virtual machine running all your stuff. You could run your games there, the virtual machine would do rendering and send you ready to present result.
What's the point? Well first of all it's cheaper. Gamers tend to want to buy the bleeding edge hardware whenever they put together rigs because they know it's cheaper to spend well now not to have to upgrade before you even unpack the hardware from the box. And a lot of people do upgrade. The second hand market for these things laughable – it's not like a car, a car will do what's advertised – drive you places. 2 year old video card isn't going to play the latest Crysis at a playable framerate so for a lot of people it's all moot.
And what if you played some Crysis, are now bored with it, and fall back to old goodies like Tetris and Minesweeper. Well now that videocard is $600 paperweight.
Now imagine you could rent an offsite computer with whatever specs you check off on a webpage and remote through that. And when you're bored with that check those specs back down for a lower payment. Upgrade at a click of a button. Sounds awesome.
This is just an idea. Typically when people think of fast they don't think of the possibilities it opens up, just speeding up whatever there's now which is engineered to be viewed through this pipe
Asheville NC is in the running. Follow us at http://googleavl.com/.
Gotta hand it to Duluth's mayor for jumping in that freezing lake, thats awsome. when you look into the logistics of the whole thing Duluth would be a good place to start and expand from there East and West. Anywho good luck Duluth, ill be rootin for ya
Ask local telephone to have internet. Forget it. Too far from main CO
Ask local cable company for internet. Forget it. Too much trouble to run a coax cable to our neighborhood.
Satellite.. too many trees in the way.
We are still stuck with 36.6 baud dial up and are only a few miles outside of DC.
Good luck Google. You are going to get so much push back from the telephone and cable giants. It will take years and years and years.
Not too big, not too small
Not too rich, not too poor
Not overly techy, but definitely knowledgable
Biggest network hub for packages,
... and soon w/ Google's decision, a network hub for data
"Thank you.. Thank you very much.."
Google is more reliable and faster than the US Government. Why wait for congress to decide on a plan which will then take months or years to fully implement (barring any unforseen changes) when Google will get it done faster, more efficiently, and with a greater degree of success? And they'll do it with about five pages worth of paper, not several thousand in triplicate.
A lot of crazy stunts here, but check out this quite sublime video that Bellingham WA put forth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nA5AAxW7gAk
Why isn't Alaska on the map?
Two words, Sara Palin
Two words why Alaska was left off: Sarah Palin. This is just payback. Apologies to Hawaii, who seem to have been caught in the middle.
Please pick Memphis Google! http://www.memphisgoogle.net/
If Google is committed to what they say they're going to do and they will be there from start to finish, including tech support, etc., then I think it will be a good idea. I'm more in favor of them choosing a rural area where the families that live there don't have access to high speed internet as opposed to choosing a city/town that already has high speed and they want to make it faster. But jumping in a frozen lake?? C'mon people!!
well first off its a good idea but will ultimitly fail because, adding fiber optic cables might help if internet providers would stop trying to make as much profit as possible, and instead trying to at least get dsl to the people in rual areas first. i know i know its a long shot ,and proably way to much to ask for but come on really. we have been basicly in the same spot as far as connection speeds since like 2000,2001. and the internet providers that do have service in rual areas such as verizion wich sucks butt and is basiclly a scam to take u for evrey dollar u got. i mean come on its 2010 for gods sake most people use way more than 5 gigs a month. shoot i would go through that in a matter of days if i knew it wouldnt break the bank. but anyways i can go on all day about how crapy are internet providers are but im not proably better for u if anybodys reading this.
JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI NEEDS YOU GOOGLE!
check out al franken pitching for duluth on youtube
I dont believe in the internet.
@ Aron: "It seems like Google is manipulating cities and in return getting free publicity. There should be rules to stop this.
Would a city change it's name to Cambells the for a 1/1000 chance of getting discounted soup?"
Hmmm... It seems like you're complaining about what other people did voluntarily just because you don't like "big corporations." More rules, more justice, right?
Wrong. They haven't harmed you. Google asked for volunteers and they got some. So what? Quit whining just because you already have broadband and can't get it for free via promotion.
In Juneau, Alaska, the Alaskan brewery made a Hi-Speed Spruce Ale for a Juneau Broadband party... http://www.juneaubroadband.com/
This is spam.
Imagine the amount of songs and movies I could get with that!!!
if you want fiber, don't wait for Google, get on Verizon FiOS. It's crazy fast!!
Google getting into the network business? This is the beginning of the end for them. Google has been really successful selling air... page views, advertising, etc. Running a business with actual stuff in the ground, subscribers, service infrastructure (trucks. offices, people) is not something they have demonstrated they can do very well. The long time players in this area are still reeling from the overbuild of the mid 90's, where improvements in multiplexing technology caused bandwidth to explode, literally, over night... resulting in a lot of capacity with no demand and a lot of dark cable.
Unless they have a wireless system up their sleve, they will be hard pressed making a profit running cable in low density rural areas.
Hey Google, come out my way! I live in a sub-division out here in the Southern California desert of Earp, CA. Yes, former home of the once famous Wyatt Earp.
Out here in Big River, CA., we share our internet with NPG Cable / Cable Vision, and on a good day I'm running at 6000 kbps. Yes, go ahead and laugh.
It wasn't that long ago, less than 4 years, I was still using a dial-up modem out here. Most of my friends are running at much faster speeds then mine. I'm always hopeful the speed will increase. One thing about rural cable companies, they have a monopoly on the service and can charge higher rates.
I wonder if I went outside and put a bunch of desert rocks and wrote "Google" if that might help? NOT!
All Google needs to make it work is Asheville, NC. Check the originality and creativity already on display – http://www.youtube.com/user/AshevilleOVision
And we already have the fiber, just need the last mile to each home.
Too bad you can't do rural areas, so people living out of town can have high speed internet, tv...other than antenna, and phone service all wrapped into one bill....at a reasonalble rate...not the $250 per month I pay now for communications...let's say....$50 month???? I know, I am dreaming. Like was said earlier...rural providers have a captive audience.
Faster internet should have been a task undertaken a while ago. I just wonder how this will fair up in the future with Wireless providers upgrading their networks to handle broadband like speeds. If Google can successfully do this with one town and it manages to provide fast internet access for dirt cheap and cheaper then curren prices with Cable companies, then the war is on. Google is treading on nearly every technological pond and offering a slice of its thoughts and improvements. This is seriously gonna get under some companies nerves....eventually.
Tucson! Tucson! Tucson! Tucson! Tucson!!!!!!!
I'm always amused at complaints about slow speeds in the US compared to countries with the land mass of Rhode Island or in the biggest cases, Iowa.
Then there's the little problem of tearing up roads and inconveniencing thousands while installing the fiber, running fiber to the home, which is not cheap either, and the question of bandwidth to each and every server on the web.
Gigabit Fiber isn't going to get you a gigabet connection to Netflix or Amazon, either.
This will be good to make the web faster for everyone. People want broadband. Many new technologies on the web today make it better for people than ever before. http://sency.com just launched, allowing people to see what others are saying
[...] According to CNN, "The mayor of Sarasota, Florida, swam with sharks. Topeka, Kansas, temporarily changed its name to Google, Kansas. And in Duluth, Minnesota, the head of city government jumped into a frigid lake with ice chunks floating on the surface." Talk about dedication. [...]
Another reason that mayors want google high speed is to attract new businesses to the area. some of the communities are in dire need of an over haul. Google could be just that spur that the towns need. Personally i nominated Duluth MN.
Game, set, match for apple. Sell your blackberry stock asap.
Alaska I.T. Guy –
Just to let you know, Alaska IS on the list. If you research a little, you'll find that CNN just chopped the map for convenience (Obviously, convenience/size is more important that news quality) – the map on Google's blog indeed shows both Alaska and Hawaii on the left side.
*pats his Alaskan friends on their collective heads to pacify them* down boys! hehehe
Hasnt Madison, WI already been chosen?
The cost per customer for this amazing speed?
The true speed, after considering the upstream limit of whatever you connect to?
The maintenance cost or secret tax breaks to the chosen city?
Things to consider when begging for this magic bean.
[...] surprisingly, communities across the U.S. clamored to apply for the project. According to CNN.com, more than 1,100 cities and towns submitted applications, including our neighbors in [...]
Not a Hoax. Evanston Illinois, Home of Northwestern University, changed their name to Google Illinois for a day.
I wish GOOGLE could extend this project to Latin American countries, specially to Brazil. Where no fiber broadband initiative is present, nor by the public administration, nor by the private companies, the citizen pays tripled for half the bandwidth, often experiencing failing links, or watching to the cell phone signal indicator showing zero. In the century 21, the fibers have the same meaning as the railways for the century 18 and 19. They are the key to economical growth. With no broadband signal present, better to return to the bush and grow pineapples.
faster bandwidth, nice:)
[...] fervor over the upcoming Google Fiber project shows that lots of folks are eager to give laser-powered, in-home fiber a [...]
internet phones these days have very powerful and nice features, i bet they would add some more value added features in the fut .
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[...] SciTech Blog – 1,100 communities beg for Google broadband [...]
[...] never assumed Topeka's name-changing stunt would win the project. And plenty of other mayors flailed unsuccessfully for Google's attention, too. A mayor in Florida swam with sharks. One in Minnesota jumped in a frigid [...]
My brother recommended this webpage to me. He said that it was extremely good, and I believe he is right! This article definately made me think.
Super article it is really. My friend has been searching for this update.
If Google could surpass the speed that I have been wanting for, for a high speed Internet connection, I can't wait to shed off all the bucks I have for it.Go Google! haha!
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[...] ultra high-speed broadband networks and operate them on an “open access” basis. Over 1,100 communities asked Google to build a network in their area, including several “desperate cities” willing to [...]
[...] ultra high-speed broadband networks and operate them on an “open access” basis. Over 1,100 communities asked Google to build a network in their area, including several “desperate cities” willing to [...]
I love that Google is doing this.We need to be adding more and more bandwidth to our communities to keep up with demand. Just think about what this will do to the time it is built in.
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