My Town Won't Get Google's 1-Gig

1:25 PM -- I already figured that my humble home of Highlands Ranch, Colo., had little to no shot at getting selected for Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s 1-Gig experiment, but based on what else I've seen lately, I'll go ahead and strike "little" from the record. (See Google Jumps Into Gigabit FTTH and My Town Wants Google 1-Gig! )

Seattle's TechFlash thinks Highlands Ranch's pitch to the Big G was among the five worst that it's seen. [Ed note: Hat tip to Bill Menezes of VisiTech PR for pointing it out.]

Getting onto that list wasn't easy, considering Google claims to have gotten more than 600 responses from communities that want to drink from Google's 1-Gig tap. (See Googlemania!)

But here's one cringe-inducing way to do it:

I do give my town points for trying. I get the wholesomeness angle (I do like living here. It's a beautiful place with nice people, so please, Highlands Ranchers, don't banish me!), but I don't quite get how the guy rockin' the ape suit would actually help convince Google that this is the place to conduct its big broadband experiment.

But I give my vote to Fresno, Calif., as the best of the worst -- a rap to express its Google love? Creative, anyway.

The other towns that got the dubious honor: Scott County, Minn.; Topeka, Kan.; Greensboro, N.C.; and Anderson, Ind.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

Duh! 12/5/2012 | 4:40:21 PM
re: My Town Won't Get Google's 1-Gig

I wonder if any of these communities get it.  Google does not want to be in the broadband infrastructure business.  They want a testbed for what could be done with access data rates that are more than 200x the national average.  They also want to tweak the MSOs and telcos a bit.  

The reality is that there is a lot of hubris here.  As I already noted, Google is not in the broadband infrastructure business, and does not have any of the skill set they  need to support broadband infrastructure.  Presumably, they'll hire contractors to do engineering, walk out, make-ready, tension strand, lash or pull cables, splice fibers, throw drops, install ONTs, install central office equipment, distribution frame operations, deal with customer care and handle billing.   But managing contractors to do those things is not trivial either unless you know what you're doing. 

Now, if I were a municipal and really wanted Google's 1G, I would not make silly videos.  No, I would promise them free pole attachments and/or duct access, free engineering, walk out and make ready, maybe some space in a municipal building for the CO, maybe billing support.  I'd also guarantee that rights of way easements were completly unclouded.  And I'd offer them favorable terms to take it all over when the experiment is completed.

But silly videos do make good political theatre, don't they?

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:40:20 PM
re: My Town Won't Get Google's 1-Gig

Craig wrote:  I have to admit, after that setup, the video didn't seem all that bad. 

Okay, note to self (and everyone else on here, I suppose): Be wary of any movie recommendations coming from Craig. :)

I agree that being hokey was the aim, but sheesh, that was just downright  embarassing. (you're now led to believe that there are horses neighing in the background wherever you go here)   But I do think I saw Bigfoot ordering an Egg McMuffin at the area McD's.

But, no joke, I did have lunch yesterday at the restaurant where those dudes toasted. So I guess I do share some of their tastes.


Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:40:20 PM
re: My Town Won't Get Google's 1-Gig

Good post. I think these towns could've used you on their We Want Google teams.  While showing Google that we've got parks, coffee shops, restaurants and other creature comforts, they do little to appeal to what Google might actually value as they think about making selections for these trials. 

But now we all know what happens to people when they get a case of  Googlemania.  Some grab the ape suit from the closet and start filming, others , like Greensboro, enlist hometown heroes like Ricky Proehl Shampoo (apologies to Chris Berman) to stump for them.  JB


Pete Baldwin 12/5/2012 | 4:40:20 PM
re: My Town Won't Get Google's 1-Gig

I have to admit, after that setup, the video didn't seem all that bad.  :)  Kind of hokey, but that was the feeling they were going for, I think.

The gorilla suit guy is probably supposed to be Bigfoot, right?  Doesn't he live in your neck of the woods? (Or is he out here in California? I can never keep track of him.)

Fresno's was goofy, although the music itself was crisply done.  I lived in Fresno, long ago ...  brings back memories to see the space-age city hall again.  And the glimpses of the ballpark were interesting -- I wasn't in town to see that built. The really old building you can see in those window shots tells you how depressing downtown was at the time.

Palo Alto's pitch is a lot simpler: "Dudes, we were gonna do this anyway."

sj0350 12/5/2012 | 4:40:17 PM
re: My Town Won't Get Google's 1-Gig

Spot on comment.  Funny thing is, Highlands Ranch would actually be a great place to roll out 1gig ftth.  It's a moderately affluent community with a well-educated population (code for: lots of people willing to pay money for such a service in the future) and it's slap bang in the middle of Qwest's heartland.  IIRC Qwest themselves have a big data center in Highlands Ranch.  It would be worth having Google park their tanks on Qwest' lawn just to see how Qwest would fight back.

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