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Summary:

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is embarking on a gigabit fiber project, thanks to the suggestion of Google’s Eric Schmidt, taking advantage of the overhaul of its water infrastructure to lay new data pipes. The plan is create 15 tech zones to feed Chicago’s growing startup community.

Chicago skyline

Quite the thriving tech community has sprouted up in Chicago’s River North neighborhood in the last year, spurred by startup hub 1871, Excelerate Labs and Google’s decision to relocate Motorola to Chicago’s storied Merchandise Mart. Now Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to invest in broadband and Wi-Fi infrastructure to expand this nascent “Digital Alley” to new tech zones as well as bring cheap internet access to underserved areas throughout the city.

If it sounds like Chicago is angling to be the next candidate for Google Fiber, then you’re probably not too far off base. At a press conference on Monday, Emanuel revealed that Google Chairman Eric Schmidt was the inspiration for the idea. Chicago is in the process of overhauling its century-old water distribution system, and Schmidt suggested that Chicago take advantage of the fact it’s digging up the city to lay new data as well as water pipes, Emanuel said.

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, the city is also willing to offer up access to other urban bric-a-brac that make up Chicago’s municipal infrastructure, from utility and light poles to dark fiber already strung under the Chicago Transit’s authorities elevated rails and within its subway tunnels.

There are a lot of cities vying for Google’s attention in case it chooses to expand its fiber project, and Emanuel isn’t betting the farm Chicago will be its next benefactor. He didn’t mention Google Fiber specifically in his speech, and instead announced that Chicago would issue a request for proposal asking any interested company, local university or other organization to submit ideas for implementing all or parts of the broadband rollout. Emanuel said he anticipates members of Chicago’s growing startup and entrepreneurial community would play a key role in contributing ideas.

Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, new home of Motorola

The goal of the project is to build gigabit last-mile fiber infrastructure in 15 “innovation zones” located in commercial and industrial corridors throughout the city. A second aim of that fiber build-out is to bring cheap broadband access to underserved and disadvantaged neighborhoods in the city – of which Chicago has plenty – and develop training programs to teach residents in those areas the “digital skills” necessary to put that access to use.

Finally, Chicago plans to launch a network of free Wi-Fi hotspots throughout city parks, plazas and other public spaces. The first of these networks went live this month in Chicago’s touristy Millennium Park. Though this component may seem like the least ambitious of Emanuel’s plan, it may well be the most controversial. During the first internet boom, Emanuel’s mayoral predecessor Richard M. Daley proposed an ambitious plan to blanket the entire city in Wi-Fi, but after several false starts the project was killed in 2007.

Chicago isn’t exactly starving for broadband either. Because of its central role in commodities and futures exchange markets (Where did you think pork bellies were traded?) Chicago’s downtown business core has some of the fastest internet access in the world, which the new River North tech community is tapping into. But Emanuel’s aim is to convert industrial zones lining Chicago’s miasma of waterways and railroad tracks — once devoted to slaughtering livestock, packing meat and manufacturing cocktail weenies – into high-tech zones. Also, the educational institutions around which tech communities like to congregate are well outside of the downtown core.

Chicago skyline image courtesy of Flickr user Bert KaufmannMerchandise Mart image courtesy of Flickr user HarshLight

  1. Eric Schmidt had lost his credibility when he got invovled into fascism crimes which had endangered human lives
    ——————————————————
    There is actually a war between fascism and anti-fascism, at this stage, fascism still prevails in our lives, Eric Schmidt, Sebastian Thrun and Gabriele Scheler are just front figures we could see in this fascism circle, there is a whole pack of fascists behind them

    Eric, as we can see, starting from Gabriele Scheler’s atrocity case on Stanford campus back in 2004, many people, including Gabriele Scheler, Sebastian Thrun, you Eric Schmidt, and also your collegue in China Kaifu Lee, had made contributions to such fascism crimes which had cost human life of Stanford student May Zhou and crimes which had retaliated on victims and almost cost life of the victim as I am

    … … and someone who had provided legal coverage for your fascism crimes, including a powerful officer from Santa Clara DA Office, namely ZZZ (and after ZZZ, another officer YYY), and the officer VVV who’s in charge of Gabriele Scheler’s case and who had further collateralled with your side(suspect Eric Schmidt, Sebastian Thrun and Gabriele Scheler’s side) to conspire and curse victims( Stanford, May Zhou, me) in every possible way since 2006 till today; and maybe include the officer RRR who insist on May Zhou’s death as a suicide or accident, even though I had clearly pointed out who’s involved in May Zhou’s murder case …

    … … and someone who could provide political support for your fascism crimes, including top politician from the country of Germany whom we all know — Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, and maybe include a retired top politician from UK as well, etc. and more and more to find out later …
    ———————————————————————————–
    I believe, though some names missed out, all names mentioned in the above comment are part of this fascism circle

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  2. ***************
    Eric Schmidt had lost his credibility when he got invovled into fascism crimes which had endangered human lives
    ——————————————————
    There is actually a war between fascism and anti-fascism, at this stage, fascism still prevails in our lives, Eric Schmidt, Sebastian Thrun and Gabriele Scheler are just front figures we could see in this fascism circle, there is a whole pack of fascists behind them

    Eric, as we can see, starting from Gabriele Scheler’s atrocity case on Stanford campus back in 2004, many people, including Gabriele Scheler, Sebastian Thrun, you Eric Schmidt, and also your collegue in China Kaifu Lee, had made contributions to such fascism crimes which had cost human life of Stanford student May Zhou and crimes which had retaliated on victims and almost cost life of the victim as I am

    … … and someone who had provided legal coverage for your fascism crimes, including a powerful officer from Santa Clara DA Office, namely ZZZ (and after ZZZ, another officer YYY), and the officer VVV who’s in charge of Gabriele Scheler’s case and who had further collateralled with your side(suspect Eric Schmidt, Sebastian Thrun and Gabriele Scheler’s side) to conspire and curse victims( Stanford, May Zhou, me) in every possible way since 2006 till today; and maybe include the officer RRR who insist on May Zhou’s death as a suicide or accident, even though I had clearly pointed out who’s involved in May Zhou’s murder case …

    … … and someone who could provide political support for your fascism crimes, including top politician from the country of Germany whom we all know — Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, and maybe include a retired top politician from UK as well, etc. and more and more to find out later …
    ———————————————————————————–
    I believe, though some names missed out, all names mentioned in the above comment are part of this fascism circle

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  3. I believe Chancellor Angela Merkel had monitored and invovled into Sebastian Thrun, Gabriele Scheler and Eric Schmidt’s fight against ruling from authorities of Stanford and authorities of U.S. over their unruly criminal behaviors on campus of Stanford, and which ensued a series of crimes, including killing the innocent, conspire life of the victim, terrorize/extort authorities, corruption, miscarriage of justice, discrimination against Asian, all on land of America, etc.

    Sebastian Thrun, a Germany Scholar who had got Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit when she visited Stanford in 2010, had partialy left Stanford Computer Science department because he is in debt to Stanford people with his involvment into Stanford student May Zhou’s death, he is not innocent in an unsuccessful plotted murder on me either and I have been cursed by powers from Sebastian Thrun’s side for many years. Sebastian Thrun dare not deny to the public his involvment into such fascism crimes till today and I am still waiting to see why he dare not

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  4. Obviously, certain malicious officers (e.g. ZZZ, YYY, VVV, RRR) do exist and I believe they had abused their judicial power to further victimize victims in reward to those fascism criminals. Something fishy is going behind. I also believe that, by law, I have the right to request to see the testimony and evidence they used against me along with their real identity, to clarify the case with confronation, and that’s what I am reqeusting.

    How much credibility would an officer have, if he/she underhandedly made up cases to curse you while hiding their evidence/testimony and their real identities from your eyes?

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  5. Starting from an irrational Germany lady Gabriele Scheler’s atrocity crime on Stanford campus, there came a war between fascism and anti-fascism; and at this stage, fascism still prevails in our lives; Eric Schmidt, Sebastian Thrun and Gabriele Scheler are just front figures we could see in this fascism circle, there is a whole pack of fascists behind them.

    Gabriele Scheler’s campus atrocity on me, by which Sebastian Thrun and Eric Schmidt started a series of fascism crimes, is a simple case with clear evidence and with serious police investigation.

    But how come Gabriele Scheler could come back and falsely accuse me for sexual assault to molest my life year after year without an end? How come the judicial officer could made up a sexual assault case against me without interviewing me even once? How could they assist Scheler to terrorize/extort Stanford without even showing me any testimony and evidence of such accusations against me? how could this case still not be clarified in judicial system after eight years? Because the crimes are not only coming from those criminals who had committed such crimes, but also coming from certain malicious officers (e.g. a powerful officer namely ZZZ from Santa Clara DA’s Office, and after ZZZ stepped down, another officer YYY, and also officer VVV who’s in charge of Gabriele Scheler’s case, and very likely officer RRR who insist May Zhou’s case is suicide or accident but not murder) who egregiously miscarriage of justice.

    Gabriele Scheler had been rude to Japanese and South Korea Scholars (Asians) in the same office before she assaulted me; Sebastian Thrun collateralled with Gabriele Scheler to trap me while played a role in May Zhou’s case; Eric Schmidt, for Sebastian Thrun and Gabriele Scheler’s sake, had told me “May Zhou is an Asian, police may not even find out who did it …what if it happened to you?” And it did happen as Eric Schmidt predicted that police may not even find out who did it, which is really scary to me

    I brought the case to the public because as a human being, anyone has the responsibility to crack down such fascism crimes which includes killing the innocent, conspire life of the victim, terrorize/extort authorities, corruption, miscarriage of justice, discrimination against Asian, etc.

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  6. Informative post!

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