Getting Google with grassroots involvement

Google on Wednesday announced that it planning to test blazing-fast broadband networks in trial locations around the country, and has invited residents and local governments to express their interest. In an effort to boost Asheville’s chances at becoming a test location, the Mountain Xpress has set up a place to help the grassroots get organized.

Xpress has created a Google group for anyone to join to talk about the effort. Asheville’s Google Fiber Network Initiative can serve as a home for collaboration.

Google’s networks will deliver Internet speeds 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today — more than 1 gigabit per second. It plans to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 people, and up to 500,000. Here’s what else Google says:

Our goal is to experiment with new ways to help make Internet access better and faster for everyone. Here are some specific things that we have in mind:

  * Next generation apps: We want to see what developers and users can do with ultra high-speeds, whether it’s creating new bandwidth-intensive “killer apps” and services, or other uses we can’t yet imagine.
  * New deployment techniques: We’ll test new ways to build fiber networks, and to help inform and support deployments elsewhere, we’ll share key lessons learned with the world.
  * Openness and choice: We’ll operate an “open access” network, giving users the choice of multiple service providers. And consistent with our past advocacy, we’ll manage our network in an open, non-discriminatory and transparent way.

Google is asking municipalities to fill out a request for information, which it will use to decide where to build. It’s also accepting residents’ input. The deadline is March 26. Click here to tell Google about Asheville and Western North Carolina.


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7 thoughts on “Getting Google with grassroots involvement

  1. Curious

    Wasn’t the Hub Project supposed to do something like this? What ever became of them? How did they spend the money the city gave them?

  2. Gordon Smith


    The HUB continues to work towards its mission of catalyzing business efforts in the areas of creativity, the arts, and technology. HUB has accomplished a great deal, but because of budgetary restraints they are currently unfunded. Despite this, the Board continues to provide countless volunteer hours. They will certainly be an important part of our effort to land this opportunity.

  3. tatuaje


    Thanks for spearheading this effort.

    Landing this would be an amazing opportunity for the area and have far-reaching implications, not only by creating jobs and infrastructure to implement the service, but it would also serve as a launching pad into the high-tech arena.

    I hope the council will create a task force to investigate the possibilities and come up with an action plan to help make this a reality for Asheville.

  4. Gordon Smith

    I appreciate your sentiment, tatuaje, but I’m not really spearheading this effort. It will be a collective response not just from the City of Asheville but from all of our regional partners, public and private, who recognize the economic and social value of this project.

  5. Curious

    Gordon, who is heading up the effort? Who would one contact to offer to help?

  6. Gordon Smith

    I’d say right now to join the Google Group mentioned in this article in order to get up to the minute info.

  7. Jason W. Hill

    If you are interested in following this developmment or helpiing please see the FaceBook group “Asheville google Fiber Network Initiative”. At 7pm on 2/16/10 there are 533 members of this group. Please help!!!

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