The Diablo Valley Five--which consists of Walnut Creek, Concord, Pleasant Hill, Clayton, and Martinez--submitted its proposal to the Mountain View search company earlier this week. But to show Google it has broad community suppport, the DV5 is asking people to show their support via its Facebook page. Google will collect Requests for Information (RFI) from interested communities until Friday, and announce its target communities later this year.
Here's what Google says about its big experiment, which it hopes will make Internet access better and faster for everyone:
"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."The potential benefits to communities are huge, according to Gayle Vassar, Walnut Creek's community relations manager: "The high speed connection has many benefits for businesses, hospitals and schools, in addition to faster download speeds for residents. For example, with 1 gigabit per second, health clinics will be able to stream 3D medical images, and households will be able to download a full length HD movie in less than five minutes."
Google announced plans to to build these networks in one or more trial locations, "sparking a frenzy of interest around the nation and region," says the San Francisco Chronicle.
You probably read about how some municipalities around the country went to extremes in their efforts to attract Google's attention: The mayor of Duluth, Minn., leaped into the frigid waters of Lake Superior. His Topeka, Kan., counterpart renamed the city Google for the month of March.
The DV5 adopted a more restrained--and dignified--approach. Google's online application asked for information about a town or region's demographics, topography, climate and utilities. In addition to submitting its proposal, the DV5 jointly created its Facebook page, which now has 740 fans and includes uploaded YouTube videos showing how the five cities have worked together on earlier projects.
"Walnut Creek is poised to take a leadership role in technology," says Councilman Kish Rajan on the DV5 Facebook page. Other "fans" say: "This cutting edge technology will benefit all" and "Very cool idea. Residents of PH, WC, Concord, Martinez and Clayton: check this out."