Mayor Chris Beutler today announced that the City has launched its effort to persuade Internet search engine Google to build an "ultra-high speed broadband network" in Lincoln. The Mayor also is asking the entire community to show its support for bringing the Google Fiber for Communities Program to Lincoln.
"This presents tremendous opportunities for economic development, entertainment, entrepreneurship and education," said Beutler. "Lincoln has the size, geography, diversity, existing fiber, technology, partners and attitude to make Google's high-speed goals a reality. Lincoln can hit the ground running, with little lag time and red tape. We have a vision of assuring affordable Internet access for all parts of the City."
Earlier this year, Google announced plans to test the network in one or more trial locations. Google is asking interested municipalities to submit applications, which the company will use to determine where to build its network. The applications are due March 26. The Mayor appointed a working group of leaders in business and technology sectors to work with the City to develop the application.
A resolution in support of the Google project, submitted by City Council member Jonathan Cook, will have a public hearing at the Council meeting Monday, March 22. The meeting begins at 3 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 555 S. 10th St. The Mayor urged residents to visit Lnkup.org to find out more about the City's application, become a fan of the City's Facebook page or submit comments directly to Google. Lnkup.org also can be reached through the City Web site at lincoln.ne.gov.
On its Web site google.com, the company says it hopes the experiment will lead to better and faster Internet access for everyone. The Web site copy continues, "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."
"Lincoln's balanced mix of campus, urban, neighborhood and suburban living, as well as our wide-ranging climate make it an ideal test-bed for fiber delivery to our homes and businesses," said working group member Bradley Walker, President and CEO of Nanonation, Inc. "Lincoln's existing infrastructure and level topography could lead to lower cost and faster implementation of Google's network. Add to that a dynamic environment of technology innovation in the private sector and a 'can-do' approach from City leaders, and I think we have a good shot at catching Google's attention in this process."