Tucked under a good for community development headline, Google plans to test and build a lightening fast, high-speed broadband network for one or more lucky American city(ies).
This effort is similar to Google’s WiFi deal in Mountain View, CA. According to Google, the new experiment is designed to help test means to improve how the Internet comes to people today. Yep, faster and better! Perhaps more corporately and properly stated, the test is in an effort to drive innovation in high-definition video, remote data storage and real-time multimedia collaboration to inspire new consumer, medical, educational and other uses. And better and faster!
This opportunity has created considerable buzz as the experimental fiber-optic offer would create a network 100 times faster than traditional high-speed broadband speeds. Critical mass is approaching and civic leaders are going gaga to get their bids noticed. Social media sites such as Facebook and creative YouTube clips are firmly in play for a plethora of cities. More extreme attention grabbing examples you ask?
* Madison, WI – launching a Google branded ice cream
* Greenville, SC – “We feel Lucky” and a glowstick human Google chain
* Nevada City, CA – party and parade
* Topeka, KS – renaming the city for March
The final submissions are due March 26, 2010. While this may be more marketing shtick than true development, who cares! Give Google some credit for pushing the envelope. One or more US cities will benefit and be able to offer something unique to its residents. Cities should take any opportunity to get creative, show off their pride and provide another element for economic recovery. This effort should be celebrated. And besides, any civic official wacky enough and willing to swim with sharks, polar bear plunge or change the city name for the betterment of its constitutes deserves a little positive attention.
The winner (s) will be announced later this year.