Last month, Google shook up the ISP landscape in a big way, and all with the stroke of the (digital) pen. The company announced that they would soon begin testing a 1Gbps home fiber network, which could provide home Internet speeds that could only be realized in one's imagination before. Needless to say, Americans began to get hopeful, and local politicians saw opportunity. Having Google
's name (and 1Gbps Internet access
) stamped on your town is probably a surefire way to get you in the news (and maybe even add to the tax base), so it's no surprise to hear that city after city is going out of their way to make an impact and sway Google into making their town the first to get this new breed of high-speed Internet.
First, we heard that the city of Seattle was pushing hard to be Google's first test market. Their reasoning was sound: Seattle is a techy city, it's close to Google's Northern California headquarters and there are tons and tons of potential customers. But that wasn't enough. We later heard that Topeka, Kansas was renaming itself "Google, Kansas" for the month of March, all in an effort to prove that it was willing to do whatever it takes to get 1Gbps Internet to the nation's heartland.
Now, we're seeing the most recent case of lunacy. Or determination, if you care to look at things through Rose-colored glasses. The mayor of Duluth, Minnesota recently got up the courage to jump into freezing Lake Superior wearing no wetsuit, and he did it all on video in order to get Google's attention. He arose from the frigid waters shouting: "I've laid down the gauntlet! All right, you other mayors! You want Google Fiber, you jump in Lake Superior!"
All of this craziness is happening for a reason. Google established a March 26 deadline for cities to express internet, and clearly cities know that a ton of interest will be shown. Google has yet to confess on when the building of these fiber networks will begin, but it's clear that the sooner will definitely be better. Check out the video of Mr. Ness below, and before you think of getting your own city to apply for access, you better think up a serious stunt.