Ooh, Google, over here! Over here!

google logoNo doubt as part of some plot to index the contents of our brains, Google is planning to test ultra-highspeed fiber networks in communities around the country (ok, maybe they don't want to index our brains... yet). From the Google project page:

We plan to test ultra-high speed broadband networks in one or more trial locations across the country. Our networks will deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today over 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. We'll offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.

A gigabit per second? Yes, please. That's like going from a spigot to a fire hose. (Road Runner is 1.5 megabits per second -- there are 1024 megabits in a gigabit.)

So, we know one or two communities that could use something like that.

As @EdXeno tweeted yesterday to Harry Tutunjian: "I would leave Albany and move to Troy if you got Google to give you awesome internet access."

Jeff Pirro, a spokesman for the Troy mayor, tweeted back today: "A lot of folks like yourself have given us and heads up and at the Mayor's direction, we're looking into it."

Obviously there's going to tremendous competition for this project. But, hey, you never know. It's worth a shot.

Google is asking municipalities to "provide us with information about their communities through a Request for information (RFI), which we'll use to determine where to build our network." It's also taking community "nominations" from residents and community groups.

Update: There's now a Facebook page to organize support for Troy's bid. (Thanks, Kim M!)


I say we nominate the whole region.

I have contacted my town supervisor in Malta (home of the upcoming AMD plant), and they have informed me that they are now looking into submitting a proposal for Saratoga County. LET THE GAMES BEGIN, CAPITAL DISTRICT!

Part of the application process has a spot for a "video or other creative submission". Anyone up for organizing a montage of locals telling their heart-wrenching tales of woe without highspeed fiber networks?

I picture it starting on a dark and stormy night in one of those creepy corridors at SUNY Albany.

Troy now has a Facebook fan page dedicated to this effort.


Standard Road Runner is actually 10Mbps and the premium service is 15mbps. The light is 1.5mbps but the 10Mbps plan is the most common one.

As a resident I'm biased, but hopefully Troy makes a good case for itself.

1. Because of RPI, Troy has a sizable population of folks who'll come up with clever ways to weave all that bandwidth into their daily lives, and who'll have the skills to report on the effects in detail.

2. Because there's a sizable underprivileged population, Troy's a good lab for examining the public benefits of superior data infrastructure.

3. Troy's big enough, but not too big. Significant yet economical.

Then again, the Jesus Pipe would gentrify this place in half the time. Do I want it more than I don't want my rent to double?



Don't worry, I nominated Albany yesterday! My reason: Cause it'd be awesome! I did *puppy dog eyes* too, so we're a shoo-in.

Oh please some tubes from someone that seems to understand how the internet works... pelase!!!

Credit goes to Harry Tutunjian and Jeff Pirro for having a real presence on social media. Great things are happening in Troy. I wish Albany City Hall would take a few notes.

...and I wish Albany City Hall would apply for the pilot. :)

Google is looking to serve "at least 50,000, and potentially up to 500,000 people," which could more than half of the Capital District if our patchwork of municipal governments are all as effective as Troy's and get on board with this.

What's the point of having an ultra-high speed if all your traffic goes to Google?
This is a for-profit company, not quite a charity as one may think. They will find ways to make profits on you.
Also they are notorious for keeping as much info about users as they can get. Google already knows quite a bit about me, not gonna give them more, thankyouverymuch....

Great, I'm just settled in Albany and now I'll have to move back to Troy ;)

Hopefully they'll hit the whole region. I know Time Warner used us as a test market for a while...we got services like DVR before other people did. Maybe Google will see the same reasons to use us that TW did.

I plan on making a submission for albany... I have to get my circle of friends to come up with a fantastic video style submission :)

Verizon FIOS never bothered showing up in Albany, not crossing my fingers on this one... Now of course, the suburb got a bit more lucky.

More thinking on what Google's up to with the Jesus Pipe: http://www.cringely.com/2010/02/googles-walk-in-the-parc/

Sounds right to me.


I have to throw my support behind the Saratoga County proposal. I'm willing to help. :-)

Awful, awful, we shouldn't beg for a critical infrastructure that should be public like internet access to be provided to us by a corporate behemoth with questionable information-gathering techniques like Google. We should instead be organizing for high-speed publicly owned internet, which could be provided cheaply to the general population, much like water or electricity.

That's a false choice, Greenguy. Though a total long shot, there are big and obvious public benefits to the communities chosen for Google's project, and the existence of the project prevents nobody from agitating for a public Internet utility. Though both are interesting, they're separate topics.


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