Six years after Duluth came up short in its bid to be a test community for ultra-high speed internet connections, the experiment is looking like an expensive boondoggle. After digging up a half-dozen cities to lay fiber-optic cables, the company is now shifting into plans to transmit fast internet through the air.
Since this summer, I’ve seen several large, blaze orange coils of fiber optic cable being installed throughout the city. As of today I spotted some by Holy Rosary and up near Home Depot on Central Entrance.
Does anyone know if our Google overlords are trying to pull a fast one on us? Were area ISPs startled into actually building out their networks up here? Please tell me I’ll be browsing the Internet at satisfyingly fast speeds in the near future.
Fortunately, Duluth-Superior put together a great bid for Google Fiber in the Spring as Google Twin Ports. We generated tons of buzz nationwide, and even worldwide and mobilized thousands of community members in support of the project. I was a tiny (miniscule, really) cog in the wheel that was the ad-hoc Google Twin Ports steering committee in the first part of this year. And just like everyone else, I have been anxiously waiting for the end of the year for the community (ies) that will get Google Fiber to be announced.
Unfortunately, as noted in another PDD post, Google has said they can’t decide yet and they’ve kicked the announcement date down into 2011.
Fortunately, that aforementioned PDD post from Brian B was on the coveted first page of “links” on the most recent official Google Fiber blog post!
This could mean anything or not much so try not to call me too naive here. But one thing is certain: They haven’t forgotten us. I say that means we are still in the hunt folks, and I think we’re a front runner when I consider all the factors I can think of, climate, community support, integration, availability of “dark” fiber, competing delivery systems (WiMax, 3G, Cable, DSL, even Superior Broadband’s nifty radio thing) attractiveness of the community and the list goes one. And I’ll just add in one more huge asset we have: Perfect Duluth Day. And that there screenshot proves they know that, too.
Heads up: Google has created a new mailing list for discussing 1 Gbps fiber Internets in our community. Google employees want to know what we’ll do with it, discuss things we have done during the campaign, compare notes with enthusiasts in other cities and that sort of thing. Show them Duluth is still in this by chiming in with your ideas.
Catching up on some of my favorite tech blogs this morning and found this familiar face headlining a post on Gizmodo.
But wait! Patrick Garmoe, public information officer of the Google Twin Ports Initiative laughs sheepishly as he explains Googlefest, an event that is one part rally, one part carnival and all parts enthusiasm for the promise of Google Fiber. In the midst of bands, choirs and other entertainment, “We’ll be shooting a movie with real actors and a Hollywood director and live-streaming the event to impress Google,” Garmoe says. The new initiative comes on the heels of Deluth mayor Don Ness’s own stunts. In a spoof video proclamation that in honor of Google, all first born males would be henceforth named GoogleFiber and first born females would of course be Googlette. Also, he literally sunk to a new low in the brutal battle for business. He jumped into the freezing waters of Lake Superior. Hizzoner, perhaps you’ll be deterred from further lunacy by these extremely gnarly Google Image results for “frostbite.”
MARCH 10, 2010 – Minnesota Sen. Al Franken has joined The Google Twin Ports Fiber Initiative by resurrecting his Duluth Answer Man clips.
Duluth’s campaign combines a fun and creative grassroots campaign with a very serious effort to build a strong business case for bringing Google Fiber to the Twin Ports.
The Duluth Answer Man campaign was produced in the mid 80s by the Duluth Convention and Visitors Bureau, known today as Visit Duluth. The series ran in the Twin Cites market as the summer tourism campaign for Duluth.
“We found a Hollywood director with ties to our area to shoot a short movie, about 10 minutes long, that we are gearing for Google,” Garmoe said. “We want to make sure that Google sees us, and this is one of our many efforts make us stand out from other cities.”
In my head, a collage of clips from movies and songs that mention Duluth would be pretty cool. Make it artsy, I says. Other ideas that aren’t terribly cheesy? (i.e. DBU commercials; no offense)
Here’s a press release we’ll be sending out about our intent to explore Google’s offer to bring gigabyte speed broadband to an entire community. There are many unanswered questions and any application may be a long shot, but it would be a game-changer for Duluth. I think it’s worth putting our best foot forward and see what happens… If you want to help out, check the bottom of the post. See you around… Don
Mayor Don Ness has indicated the City of Duluth‘s intent to pursue a partnership with Google to bring fiber-to-home connections to city residents. Google plans to select a community to test ultra-high speed connections at more than a gigabit per second later this year through a competitive process.
The following is a statement from Mayor Ness on the city’s intent:
We want Duluth, Minnesota to be at the forefront of a new gigaband revolution in America. For America to be competitive into the future, we need to be aggressive at investing in our data infrastructure. To unfairly paraphrase Tip O’Neill “All bandwidth use is local” – Google’s community initiative will be a powerful tool to demonstrate the positive impact of local broadband improvements.