More than 100 cities and counties in 43 states have official and unofficial efforts to develop a pitch for Google’s fiber contest by 26 March. Apparently missing: Delaware, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island and Wyoming. But there’s an unofficial Facebook page for Washington, DC.
On 10 February, Google announced that it was “planning to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the United States.” The company explained:
We’ll deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. We plan to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.
Of course, Google is mum on how it’s really going to make the decision although it has an FAQ. And it’s getting a pile of data: the public citizen form will help it assess broadband availability in a way that’s not possible from public statements from Verizon or Comcast, for example.
Cash-strapped city officials understand the competitive advantage that a high-speed broadband initiative can mean for economics, both business activity and in-migration attractiveness. It will be interesting to see how many cities with official pitches to Google continue to seek ways to fund this infrastructure when they don’t win the Google prize.
This project is an interesting intersection of business and government as well as citizen action and government. There are lots of folks with Facebook accounts who want their governments to be proactive in improving Internet access. What’s sad is that most of them have had no response from a city official — the walls are empty of public official interaction. I hope some of these activists resist the temptation to be discouraged by the lack of attention and, instead, run for office to kick the stick-in-the-muds out!
Here’s my list of reported applicants by state. If you know of others, please add as a comment (along with a link that documents the effort) and I’ll integrate into this list.
City names link to an official page; otherwise, there is a news link or a Facebook page. Some FB pages are citizen-run campaigns, not official city pages. I’ve not included fan or group pages that are incomplete or that have only a handful of supporters.
- Alameda (news)
- Chico (Facebook – unofficial)
- Davis (Facebook – unofficial)
- Fresno (news)
- Merced (news)
- Nevada City
- Petaluma (Facebook – unofficial)
- San Luis Obispo (Facebook – unofficial)
- Santa Clarita (Facebook)
- Santa Cruz (event)
- Sunnyvale (news)
- Ventura (Facebook)
- Westlake Village (Facebook – unofficial)
- Boise (news)
- Ames (Facebook – unofficial)
- Clinton (Facebook)
- Des Moines
- Dubuque (Facebook – unofficial)
- Iowa City (Facebook – unofficial)
- Lexington (Facebook – unofficial)
- Ann Arbor (news)
- Birmingham (news, Facebook)
- Detroit (news)
- Grand Rapids (news-pdf, Facebook)
- Holland (Facebook)
- Kalamazoo (Facebook)
- Lansing and East Lansing (Facebook – unofficial)
- Muskegon (Facebook)
- Omaha (news)
- Las Vegas (news)
- Jersey City (news)
- Sante Fe (Facebook – unofficial)
- Asheville (Facebook – unofficial)
- Chapel Hill and Carrboro (news)
- Durham (Facebook – unofficial)
- Greensboro (Facebook)
- Raleigh (Facebook – unofficial)
- Stillwater (Facebook – unofficial)
- Greenville (news)
- Rapid City (news)
- Bellevue (news)
- Bellingham (news, Facebook)
- Kirkland (news)
- Renton (news)
- Spokane (Facebook – unofficial)
- Walla Walla
Google Explains The Fiber Project
Known for gnawing at complex questions like a terrier with a bone. Digital evangelist, writer, teacher. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill, wiredpen.com