Tuesday, 21 May 2024

Google: 1,100 communities apply for fiber-to-home test project

Google posted this map showing the locations of the applications and letters of support. Each small dot represents a government response, and each large dot represents locations where more than 1,000 residents submitted a nomination. Courtesy of Google.


LAKE COUNTY – With the deadline now past to submit responses to Google's request for information for its ultra high speed fiber-to-home test project, the Internet giant has to get down to the work of choosing where to locate the project.

Google's deadline for responses was Friday.

The company aims to have a fiber experiment reaching between 50,000 and 500,000 people with one gigabit per second speeds, which are roughly 100 times faster than speeds available to most Americans today.

The county of Lake's Internet Technology Department submitted a response on behalf of local government, and numerous local residents wrote letters in support of Lake County being chosen.

A Lake County for Google Fiber page on Facebook – which was started late last week – had more than 500 fans early Sunday morning, a number that continues to grow. The page can be found at www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Lake-County-for-Google-Fiber/112982728711959?ref=tsf .

Late Friday Google's fiber-to-home Project Manager James Kelly reported that applications came in from 1,100 communities, with 194,000 individuals submitting letters of support.

“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,” Kelly wrote. “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.”

In the months ahead, as they zero in on a location, Kelly said Google will conduct site visits, meet with local officials and discuss the potential sites with third-party organizations.

“Based on a rigorous review of the data, we will announce our targetcommunity or communities by the end of the year,” he said.

Kelly said Google's broadband plan is designed to compliment the U.S. government’s 10-year broadband plan. He said that plan aims to subsidize broadband connections in rural areas, and bring 1-gigabit connections to every community in the U.S.

He pointed to flaws in the government's plan, including the possibility that 85 percent of homes wouldn't have a choice of providers and therefore could face higher prices.

Among the responses to Google's call for information were suggestions that the faster Internet speeds would assist in jumpstarting the economies of communities and the nation at large, expand education and business opportunities, and allow for increased telecommuting – which would help the environment.

“Bandwidths such as those would bring forth the cloud computer era and put real tools into the hands of those who could benefit most from them,” stated one submission from Fayetteville, Ark.

One person from Bonsall, Calif., promised to bake Google a pie if their community was chosen.

A person from Houston said they wanted to experience Internet speeds available to people in other countries.

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's latest report on broadband speeds around the world, released last June, Japan leads the world in broadband speed with an advertised average of nearly 93 kilobits per second, followed by Korea with 80 kilobits per second and France with 51.

The United States is ranked No. 19 worldwide, with an average advertised speed of nearly 10 kilobits per second, according to the report.

That report also found that “future growth in super fast broadband is likely to come from fibre-optic networks, rather than DSL or cable,” with fast-growing fiber networks in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the United States.

Lake County residents and others who would like to support the county's Google Fiber applications are urged to continue checking in at the Lake County for Google Fiber Facebook page and inviting friends to become fans while the selection process is under way.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .

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