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Here’s Why Google Should Choose Duluth:

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44 Comment(s)

  1. That was awesome. Makes me homesick too. Good luck Duluth!

    john | Mar 25, 2010 | New Comment
  2. Love the shot of Donny 1:18 minutes into the video

    Codie | Mar 25, 2010 | New Comment
  3. Thanks for this.

    adEm | Mar 25, 2010 | New Comment
  4. Way to go Mike and Jason. Now that’s a Google movie.

    baci | Mar 26, 2010 | New Comment
  5. Very nicely done.

    brian | Mar 26, 2010 | New Comment
  6. Great video. Hey Codie, if you like that shot of Donny, you’ll love this one. (← link)

    Paul Lundgren | Mar 26, 2010 | New Comment
  7. Great job!

    It occurs to me that Google fiber could be our next Ship Canal.

    We were floundering back in the 1850s and 1860s, but when the LS&M RR was completed in 1870 followed in 1870-’71 by the digging of the ship canal, that turned things around … eventually. With the ship canal, we had safe harbor for shipping that connected to the railway: infrastructure. Because of the canal, we attracted the grain trade, which pulled us out of the Panic of ’73, and the lumber trade. And not only shipping with these two industries, but lumber and flour milling as well. And in the 1890s we were ready when Mesabi Range ore started flowing.

    But the thing is, when we dug the canal, we didn’t know which industries it would later serve, but thankfully, we had the infrastructure in place when it was needed. Rep. Reinert told me that infrastructure is making us a potential player in the wind turbine industry.

    Google fiber, as I see it, is that same kind of infrastructure--but for today’s modern world and into the future. And so the effort by folks like Mike and Jason and others behind this video, the Duluth City government, Roger Reinert’s office, and other private individuals is the equivalent to the dredging tug Ishpeming digging the canal. The hand-digging tales are of course legend, but these new efforts, why they seem more the modern equivalent of rolled up sleeves and shovels.


    Tony D. | Mar 26, 2010 | New Comment
  8. Well done! Thanks for this very professional, positive look at Duluth.

    breistad | Mar 26, 2010 | New Comment
  9. You guys Rawk

    Starfire | Mar 26, 2010 | New Comment
  10. I’m proud to be a Duluthian! Wonderful piece of work!
    Is this the official video to be submitted?

    heysme | Mar 26, 2010 | New Comment
  11. Tony D. -- nice comparison!

    As for the video -- I feel so fortunate to live in such a unique place!

    Terry G. | Mar 26, 2010 | New Comment
  12. This is the reason we chose to work, live and play in Duluth! Good job.

    noozelady | Mar 26, 2010 | New Comment
  13. Much love!

    Danimal | Mar 26, 2010 | New Comment
  14. Great, great, great job!

    Ruthie | Mar 26, 2010 | New Comment
  15. Thanks, Terry G.

    Now, if anyone has an idea that would make that analogy help the efforts to get GF, please feel free to use it.

    Tony D. | Mar 26, 2010 | New Comment
  16. _fantastic_ job.

    we were just remarking that the cool thing about this effort is not whether or not google picks us. it’s the way that the entire town has mobilized and gotten behind something positive. let’s hope that sentiment continues, and we can channel this energy into other projects to make this city we love a better place.

    jessige | Mar 26, 2010 | New Comment
  17. I was thinking the same thing, Jessige. The national attention and civic pride can only do positive things for us.

    Nevertheless, we need a big win to finally break the stigma that we are always runner-up and destined for failure.

    Terry G. | Mar 26, 2010 | New Comment
  18. That is a high quality piece of work.

    Jamie | Mar 26, 2010 | New Comment
  19. That was really well done! If I happened to be a large fiber network provider, I would totally move here!

    Bad Cat! | Mar 26, 2010 | New Comment
  20. Not cheesy. Very well done. Totally impressed.

    I like the medical explanation, since that would really sow some benefit. Let’s make sure we all reap it.

    huitz | Mar 27, 2010 | New Comment
  21. Now with over 1,600 other communities In the running, cross our toes they pick Duluth.

    Gwen nelson | Mar 27, 2010 | New Comment
  22. That video showcased exactly what this wonderful city has to offer, and did it so tastefully. Thanks for making me actually feel proud to be here. It made me feel like we are a top contender for this google fiber stuff.

    I thought the video successfully showed, without telling, who most of the people showcased actually were. However, some may not know Linda’s positition at UMD, or what position or title some of the others may have. “Director of Info Tech Systems” would have more impact than, “Lady at UMD who supports google fiber”. The same could go for the rest of the people in the video. Just raising a thought. Overall amazing job.

    casey | Mar 27, 2010 | New Comment
  23. jay | Mar 27, 2010 | New Comment
  24. Jay: The “jumping into the frozen lake” thing seems to have been the biggest impact video, the one that people write about the most in my very informal but significant monitoring of the web chatter on Duluth’s bid. So that story is no shocker.

    Rather than threadjack and go on and on about the sort of story the Jay found, (hundreds of similar things have been written in recent months) I am just going to leave it there.

    Great video Mike, Jay and everyone who was involved. Thank you.

    wildgoose | Mar 27, 2010 | New Comment
  25. I agree with Casey, I would have wanted some titles with the talking heads, but overall, FABULOUS! I’ve sent links to my friends and family on the coasts, who keep asking me, “Why do you live in Duluth,” I’m so glad I can just respond by giving them the link instead of going into some long-winded explanation. The first image — of the ship entering the bay — ROCKS.

    Claire | Mar 27, 2010 | New Comment
  26. I’m really sorry to be a wet blanket here, but somebody has to say it. All the hype for this is being way, way overblown. Google Fiber isn’t going to magically revolutionize Duluth’s economy, give everyone a full-time job with a union wage, take the homeless off the streets or save kittens. Wherever they test it, if it pans out to be all it’s cracked up to be, everyone will have it in three-to-five years anyway. Or maybe some other city will get the next generation first and we’ll be stuck with a lot of second-rate glass wires. Who knows. But the level of fervor over Google Fiber in this city is starting to look eerily like a Shaker revival. It’s just silly.

    And personally, the idea that some doctor in Witchita could cut my body open by remote control scares the living piss out of me.

    rediguana | Mar 27, 2010 | New Comment
  27. RedIguana is my hero.

    Claire | Mar 27, 2010 | New Comment
  28. I don’t think the people who doubt that this would be huge for Duluth understand the capability of such internet connections, or the restrictions of whats currently available.

    No, we’re not all going to have connections like this in a few years… the current cable/phone monopolies have absolutely no intention of investing in next generation systems until they HAVE to, and would not be providing connections 100x as fast as what they currently charge $70/mo. for at a reasonable rate any time soon.

    Personally, I’d consider doing something like creating a live broadcast video site for local music and news. You could broadcast live video and/or audio in high quality to everyone in town over 1GB connections.

    It would put Duluth hugely on par with other locations. The infrastructure created to accommodate this would be quite valuable for the city… Google would have to lay mega fiber here to accommodate that, which would make Duluth more attractive for other tech businesses or data centers.

    jenny | Mar 27, 2010 | New Comment
  29. “It would put Duluth hugely on par with other locations.”

    What locations?

    adam | Mar 27, 2010 | New Comment
  30. Whether or not Duluth gets Google Fiber (and actually, some friends and I were saying just yesterday, be careful what you wish for, you might get it) — the national publicity that Duluth has received and will receive because of this campaign has been *fabulous* for this city’s image. So, whatever happens — it’s all good.

    Claire | Mar 28, 2010 | New Comment
  31. jenny, I think you are misrepresenting the basic law of supply and demand. Internet companies--even the big guys--raise internet speeds for a given rate bracket every year or two, which represents a lowering of the price for that internet speed. Charter just did it a few months ago. They can only charge $70 for a given speed as long as that speed isn’t commonplace, i.e. demand is high but supply is low. Once supply rises, i.e. once more and more people have access to that speed, they have to drop the price or be out-competed. And unlike health insurance, there IS competition in the telecommunications market (with at least Quest, Charter, and CenturyLink vying for market share). So internet companies DO look to increase speeds as a way to find new restricted markets where demand outweighs supply and profit margins are higher.

    Extrapolating to Google Fiber, right now it is a very coveted product because in this country, supply is very low (nonexistent, in fact) but demand is high. This is why Google can claim they’re “giving it away” even though customers will pay “about the same as your current internet” — they are giving up a significant short-term profit opportunity in exchange for long-term market control (here is where you should think “monopoly”). And do we even have any guarantees from Google that the price will remain “about the same as our current internet”? Or will we all get stuck with a larger bill than anticipated, because nothing is in writing? It would be awfully tempting to Google to charge a captive customer base closer to the market rate once it gets going.

    In five years, either Google will have continued to build on its Fiber network in other cities to outpace its competitors, or its competitors will be racing to get their own systems in place to retain their ISP market share. In either case, the market will eventually be flooded with Fiberoptic internet, prices will come down, and companies will yet again have to look for a new and better type of internet to maintain their profit margins.

    No, I’m not an economist, just an observer of reality.

    rediguana | Mar 28, 2010 | New Comment
  32. Thanks for putting the pom-poms down and writing a critical analysis of what is going on rediguana. Duluth has been jumping up and down in their seat waving their hand around “pick me, pick me”. It’s nice someone has taken the long view.

    Pete | Mar 28, 2010 | New Comment
  33. Rediguana, you have it exactly wrong.

    Google grand experiment is based on the concept that the infrastructure is an open network. That means that service providers of all sorts -- internet, phone, television, etc -- will now compete based upon the quality of their service and price. Right now we have sole carriers based upon the wired infrastructure into our home (co-ax or copper wire) and we are asked to choose between the two. The prices that we pay are based upon our very limited options -- speed is made available based on our willingness to pay.

    Google’s approach is the exact opposite of creating a monopoly -- it’s about creating competition within an open network. Talk about a paradigm shift.

    What is Google’s intent? I believe it is to show the power and importance of the infrastructure AND the advantages of an open network philosophy. If they can show that it works in creating jobs and provide advantages for business and consumers alike, then they will inspire similar investments all across the country. Google’s business model relies upon these investments.

    They might spend up to $1 billion implementing these networks -- but when it works, it will inspire over a hundred billion dollars of investment in broadband in the next decade.

    The cities that are chosen will have a tremendous and immediate advantage. It will create jobs, it will encourage investment, it will benefit local consumers through greater competition. Google will want to PROVE that this investment is worth it -- they want to prove that it will transform a community.

    Nothing wrong with being a wet blanket, as long as you have your facts straight.

    Don Ness | Mar 28, 2010 | New Comment
  34. I agree with most of Don’s assessment. I have to say, though, Google looks like it’s making a bid for control of land-based telecom industry, much like Ma Bell did in the past.

    I’m going to remain optimistic. I’m not sure how they distribute this option, since I hate Charter. And, I mean hate.

    Let’s not forget, however, that Google is basically a think tank; a bunch of smart people willing to use places like Duluth as a case study, and then toss it without a second thought. (That’s speculation, I haven’t actually read all the documentation).

    Just look at how many amazing software products they’ve developed and dropped support shortly afterward.

    Google fiber doesn’t even the corporate playing field quickly — push Adam Smith’s hand further and faster, as it were — but I’m curious to see what happens if it does.

    huitz | Mar 28, 2010 | New Comment
  35. Looks like Sarasota is trying to one up us.
    Duluth is even mentioned in the article.
    Looks like it’s time for Don to get back in the water.

    secjewl | Mar 28, 2010 | New Comment
  36. Internet service companies in the US have demonstrated that they have little desire to increase the quality and decrease the price of service. Supply and demand doesn’t apply as much as one might like, due to the lack of competition.

    Some municipalities have chosen to start providing internet service as they do gas or water, and surprise -- the cable/DSL companies all of a sudden feel that it’s time to improve service. So, the hope of competition isn’t dead, but it’s hardly thriving. This article has a good perspective on one town’s experiences :

    Jenny | Mar 28, 2010 | New Comment
  37. Unless you are Monticello, MN. In which case your local telco sues to prevent you from providing municipal fiber.

    adam | Mar 28, 2010 | New Comment
  38. Rediguana, why spend all that time writing about something you don’t know anything about?

    Dan | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  39. Mr. Ness, I appreciate the enthusiasm. There’s a reason Duluth keeps getting mentioned when other cities join the ranks of those vying for google. We’re doing something and making an impact. Whether or not we win, this whole project of Google twin ports is doing good things for this community. It’s really taking quality leadership and inspiration, which is happening.

    Rediguana, it’s good to question what’s going on. I know most of us see a big company coming into a town as a good thing and wouldn’t question it. I for one like seeing the opposition make quality points.

    casey | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  40. I admit I am not a techno wiz kid. But I think huitz is onto something. Don’s argument sounds to me an awful lot like the argument that was made in the 1990s for deregulating the telecomm industry. That was supposed to allow for more competition by allowing companies in various markets (cable, internet, phone) to integrate their services. Instead we got the increased monopolization that everyone is now complaining about here.

    I do support municipal high-speed internet service, something which is publicly-owned and transparent and can be developed under local democratic control. I just don’t believe all the hype around Google, a multinational corporation, providing some kind of magical cornucopia for Duluth’s economy.

    rediguana | Mar 29, 2010 | New Comment
  41. Nice converstation between mr. Ness and Mr. Rediguana. The exchanges show a true optimist vs. a critically thinking skeptic.

    Both have good points.

    The only thing I am worried about is google’s increasing PRIVATE > PUBLIC partnership with the NSA and intelligence agencies. The word “privacy” and many other inalienable rights may be a thing of past, not hypothetically, but in reality, in practice, funny how the future may acquire these rights and make the citizen/consumer pay a fee for having their information secure from outside parties. Heard of insider trading and intelligence agencies revolving door? Maybe “google fiber” essentially rewires a city for “maximized speed” (this may be good for bandwidth), but what does it mean for the average person? Of course Mr. Ness promotes Google Fiber as somehow expanding market opportunities in Duluth, but who will ultimately benefit from the installation of the high speed fiber optics? (i.e. oligarch families who have and still own property in this region, corporations (oh yay! charter can increase their internet fee, but you can have the old speed if you choose, or can yoU?). I remember when I first arrived in Duluth and everyone interested in the Economy would talk about how special interest (I.e anyone who sits near or eats with council members) controls the market and have a cabal of business owners that block any form of competition. Has this changed since mr. ness has been mayor? Here I am merely asking questions, cheerleading simply does not motivate logical thinking and constructive criticism. I will provide some articles below which might spark some alternative thinking on the topic. Again my worry is when the pentagon and DOD decide we need to “re-engineer the internet”, google will be teamed up with them by restricting access, anonymity, privacy, free speech and freedom to move from one place to another without being data mined.

    Thanks, :)

    First, I would read this… (this one is for fun -- a blog diary, but good info).

    Carl | Mar 30, 2010 | New Comment
  42. Carl | Mar 30, 2010 | New Comment
  43. Jebus, Carl.

    Didn’t anyone ever tell you that one or two links with some provoking questions is interesting.

    A string like that? Fahgettaboutit.

    hbh1 | Apr 2, 2010 | New Comment
  44. Well you could at least take a peek couldn’t you?

    Carl | Apr 2, 2010 | New Comment

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