There’s some rough news for Topeka, Kan., the city that courted Google’s ultra-high-speed municipal broadband project by changing its name to Google. The Mountain View, Calif., tech giant announced Wednesday that the lucky city that gets to be its broadband guinea pig not only isn’t Topeka, but it’s Kansas City, Kansas–just an hour’s drive away. Ouch.
More than 1,100 communities had applied since the call for applicants was announced about a year ago. Kansas City will first see the new developments next year, and Google is already looking for additional communities to join the test.
As part of our overall goal to make the web better for users, last year we announced a new project: to provide a community with Internet access more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have today. The response was overwhelming—nearly 1,100 cities felt the need for speed—and we were thrilled by the enthusiasm we saw across the country for better and faster web connections. Thank you to every community and individual that submitted a response, joined a rally, starred in a YouTube video or otherwise participated.
A fiber-optic project could be the first step in connecting SLO County to ultra high-speed broadband
BY MATT FOUNTAIN
When Google announced in February 2010 that it was launching a competitive experiment to bring ultra high-speed broadband networks to a small number of trial locations throughout the United States via fiber-optic lines, its intention wasn’t to break into the service-provider business.
The Internet-search giant was attempting to promote awareness of high-speed fiber, test new ways to build fiber networks, and explore the creative potential ultra-high-speed Internet service carries for developers and consumers—the potential, for example, to create new bandwidth-intensive “killer apps” and services and other uses not yet imagined.
Hunger seems to be driving the new chapter in the grassroots push to build a high-speed fiber-optic network in Baltimore. And that’s a good thing.
The hunger, says Litecast LLC’s Mark Wagner, is for “something more,” in this case a potentially valuable economic development tool that might also spark social change.
This all started, of course, with Google, the California search engine giant that said in February it would pick a test market to build an ultra-fast broadband network connecting anywhere from 50,000 to 500,000 people to the Web.
Google thanked the communities that responded to the Google Fiber for Communities RFI in a wonderful video complete with tear jearking music. Additionally, Minnie Ingersoll released the URL to a new web site for the project that tracks the progress of the project and calls for community action to remove barriers to open-access municipal broadband networks. We anxiously await Google’s announcement of the cities that they select. Their efforts to drive municipal broadband are being felt before the first backhoe starts digging.
In February we announced our plans to build experimental, ultra-high speed broadband networks. Over the past several months, our team’s been hard at work reviewing the nearly 1,100 community responses to our request for information—not to mention the nearly 200,000 responses from individuals across the U.S.
When the Utah Telecommunication Open Infrastructure Agency (UTOPIA) open access Fiber to the Home (FTTH) emerged in 2002, it was heralded as a hero by extending broadband to areas where the incumbents just did not feel they could make a good business case work. But ongoing financial losses and a lower than expected subscriber base, has forced UTOPIA to realign its strategy.
To get its vision off the ground, UTOPIA has asked its 11 member cities to join together to form the Utah Infrastructure Agency, whose goal would be to raise up to $60 million to finish building out its network. Although UTOPIA said in May it required more money to complete the network, this week was the first time it has laid out its new strategy that its member cities still need to approve. In addition, UTOPIA put in a bid to participate in Google’s Fiber Communities program in February.
In our continuing series of previews for the “Connected States of America” documentary, TelecomTV’s Guy Daniels visits the headquarters of Google to learn more about the companys plans to create a Fibre City. In an exclusive interview with Google Chief Technology Advocate, Michael Jones, it now appears that there may be more than one winner — good news to the 11,000 cities that want the prize. Further previews will appear in NewsDesk every week.