February 12, 2010 12:45 PM
Google is looking for a few good cities to test its new fiber optic network. Madison is perfect.
Google says it's looking for cities between 50,000 and 500,000 people. We're right in the middle at about 225,000. They're looking for a tech savvy community. We are, big time. We also have a good start on fiber with strands running under some streets and conduits already in place under some of our recently reconstructed major streets like East Washington Ave. And it doesn't hurt that Google already has a foothold in Madison with an office right here.
Google's project is exciting because it means internet connections that would be 100 times faster than what we have today. As Ald. Mark Clear, whose daytime business is about computers, explains it, it's like high speed rail for the internet.
The project is also important because it means a lot of jobs to run fiber throughout the city.
Google has put out a call for cities to apply to be part of the first wave of this project. My office has already met with our city Information Technology staff to begin work on the application.
In just the couple of days since Google announced the project, I've already received many emails and phone calls urging Madison to apply. We'll need to build on that already strong level of support and work together with our partners in the community both to complete our application and to successfully implement the project should we be selected.
Part of being competitive in the new economy means being physically connected to major metro areas. High speed rail will take us there. Another part of being competitive is being connected on a high speed internet network. Let's have both.