Blog Post

The Crazy Things Cities Do To Get Broadband From Google

Stay on Top of Enterprise Technology Trends

Get updates impacting your industry from our GigaOm Research Community
Join the Community!

Google’s announcement last month that it would build “ultra” high-speed broadband networks in the U.S. has generated interest from cities who want the tech jobs (and prestige) that would likely come if Google (NSDQ: GOOG) were to select them as a trial location. To be considered, cities must fill out an online questionnaire by March 26. So far, a spokeswoman tells us, the company has “received a good number of submissions.”

Several towns, however, are going beyond the form and launching outlandish campaigns in order to get Google’s attention. Three examples, after the jump.

Topeka, Kansas (pop. 122,000)

The mayor of Topeka has renamed his city ‘Google, Kansas — The Capital City Of Fiber Optics’ — for the month of March. A proclamation is laden with praise for Google and the attributes the city and the internet giant share.

Sample sentence: “Google’s commitment to innovation depends on everyone being comfortable sharing ideas and opinions coupled with the belief that every employee is an equally important part of its success mirrors the City of Topeka’s belief that every citizen is an important part of the city’s success.”

Google Proclamation

Duluth, Minnesota (pop. 85,000)

Duluth Mayor Don Ness jumped into a 35 degree fahrenheit Lake Superior in order to make the case for his city. Afterwards, he described the experience as “exhilarating — just like bringing Google Fiber to Duluth.”

The city also declared (via YouTube, of course) that every first born man living within the city would be known as “Google Fiber,” while every first born female would be known as “Googlette Fiber.” Ness says it’s all a joke — “intended in the spirit of good natured competition between cities.”

Sarasota, Florida (pop. 372,000)

Sarasota has put out a video of its own in order to remind Google that Duluth is frigid and the view in Topeka is plain.

It also renamed an island ‘Google Island’ and put out a ‘Declaration of Independence’ for it:

Google Island Declaration of Independence

Other less flashy campaigns that have arrived in my inbox include those of Jersey City (which is playing up its diversity) and Grand Rapids, Michigan (which says it is “committed to leveraging technology to effect strategic change.”)

Will the campaigns work? Possibly. The Google spokesperson says that “one of the many factors we’re going to consider is level of community support.” And, indeed, many of the campaigns encourage residents to visit a Google site where they can nominate their communities for Google’s fiber network.

Google says it will announce the winners later this year.

2 Responses to “The Crazy Things Cities Do To Get Broadband From Google”

  1. We’ve been following the Google, Kansas, stunt from our HQ here in Kansas City (1 hour east). There’s been a lot of buzz about that as well as about our city’s efforts at, but Topeka’s definitely more fired up. This is the first time I’ve seen the actual Topeka proclamation, so thanks for posting that. Didja know their mayor is 79 years old?