The applications are in. More than 1,100 American cities are vying to become test-markets for Google’s new broadband network investments. Unfortunately, in the end, only 50,000-500,000 people will be the beneficiaries of it.
(But let’s hope this comes as a wake-up call to the incumbent telcos. Think there’s demand for super-high-speed broadband networks, fellas?)
Here’s James Kelly, Google Product Manager, on the Google blog:
Since we announced our plans to build experimental, ultra high-speed broadband networks, the response from communities and individuals has been tremendous and creative. With just a few hours left before our submission deadline, we’ve received more than 600 community responses to our request for information (RFI), and more than 190,000 responses from individuals (we’ll post an update with the final numbers later tonight). We’ve seen cities rename themselves, great YouTube videos, public rallies and hundreds of grassroots Facebook groups come to life, all with the goal of bringing ultra high-speed broadband to their communities.
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. 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.
So what’s next? Over the coming months, we’ll be reviewing the responses to determine where to build. As we narrow down our choices, we’ll be conducting site visits, meeting with local officials and consulting with third-party organisations. Based on a rigorous review of the data, we will announce our target community or communities by the end of the year.
Of course, we’re not going to be able to build in every interested community — our plan is to reach a total of at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people with this experiment. Wherever we decide to build, we hope to learn lessons that will help improve Internet access everywhere. After all, you shouldn’t have to jump into frozen lakes and shark tanks to get ultra high-speed broadband.
Thanks again to all the communities and citizens that submitted a response. We feel the love, and we’re honored by your interest.
Update at 5:26pm: The response deadline has now passed. We’ve received more than 1,100 community responses and more than 194,000 responses from individuals. This map displays where the responses were concentrated as of 1:30pm PT. Each small dot represents a government response, and each large dot represents locations where more than 1,000 residents submitted a nomination. We plan to share a complete list of government responses and an updated map soon.
Posted by James Kelly, Product Manager