Let’s get Google Fiber!

This is a long post. But this could be immeasurably important for Columbia, so I beg you to read it and take action.

If you haven’t heard yet, Google is planning an “experiment” in fiber broadband. They intend to pick one or more cities in the U.S. to deploy gigabit ethernet citywide. That is roughly 10 times as fast as Tranquility’s entire connection to the Internet…and they’re looking to bring that kind of bandwidth everywhere. Perhaps best of all, they want to make it an open-access, carrier-neutral network. That means Tranquility, Socket, and other providers will be able to offer service at these speeds…which adds up to competition and low prices.

I couldn’t overstate the impact this would have on Columbia if I tried. We simply have no idea what new applications and technologies this could engender. It would also instantly make Columbia an epicenter for data-intensive industry, dramatically improving our economy and jobs market. We should do everything in our power to bring this home.

The city government, in partnership with many interested parties, is working up an application as we speak; those who are watching the process tell me it’s unlike anything they’ve ever seen: interest groups that can’t ever get along on anything are working hand-in-glove, and we’re going to have a tip-top proposal. This is fantastic…but it only gets us halfway there. That’s where you come in.

PLEASE, go here:

…and click on “Nominate Your Community.” I know it’s kind of a long form, but most of the items are easy, and there’s a “don’t know” option for many of them. They just want to hear from normal people, so don’t worry if you aren’t a techie. Numbers are going to matter. If you are part of an organization and you feel comfortable speaking on their behalf, be sure to list them…but it’s just fine if you just speak as you.

Also, note that Columbia is an ideal city to meet Google’s goals. Feel free to note any of these reasons…but please don’t just cut/paste them; we don’t want to look like we’re astroturfing.

1)They say they want between 50,000 and 500,000 people. We’re right on target there.
2)We’ve got lots of colleges and universities, including some world-class research facilities.
3)Our demographics are good, with high education and quite a bit of technical industry.
4)We’re a major life-sciences hub; life-sciences is one of the most data-intensive fields there is.
5)Our population density and geography should be a good microcosm for suburbia nationwide.
6)Our current broadband availability is below average in performance and above average in cost.
7)We’re on the I-70 corridor, one of the nation’s major fiber backbones.
8)There are at least two live proposals for large data centers in town that just need the right anchor client.
9)We have a rich history of network development, including stars like Datastorm Technologies (old-school geeks will remember Procomm Plus, one of the biggest early networking programs…it came right out of Columbia, MO)
10)Our cost of living is low, which will be good for the Google employees who come to live here.

Anyway, this is just off the top of my head; I’m sure if you think about it you can come up with tons more reasons Columbia is a great place for Google to set up shop. So have fun, and make our case. Even if you aren’t interested in this stuff, I beg you….at least just spend 5 minutes and send the form off. If we really get this, it’ll be huge for everyone…even people who don’t use computers.

Also, if you don’t mind, I would really appreciate it if you sent a link to this page ( ) to everyone you know who lives in Columbia. This competition is going to be fierce; everybody’s going to want in on this. If we expect to be chosen, we’ll need to work for it.

If you’re still here, thanks for reading all this. I know it was long…but it’ll be worth it.

Let’s get out there and do it!

Hunter Cook
Data Center Manager
Tranquility Internet Services

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