About the Author
Mike Kanin is the Publisher of the Austin Monitor. As such, he doesn't report on much--aside from the workings of the Monitor--any more. In his previous life as a freelance journalist, Kanin has written for the Washington City Paper, the Washington Post's Express, the Boston Herald, Boston's Weekly Dig, the Austin Chronicle, and the Texas Observer.
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Austin joins list of suitors for Google’s “super fast” internet
“It’s really a great opportunity…(and) we think it’s a terrific fit for the city of
Competition for the service, called Google Fiber, will be stiff. Municipalities that have thus far declared some level of interest in the program include
Google has issued a request for information (RFI) to help filter potential candidates. A spokesperson for the company told the Gigaom blog that the RFI will be used “to identify interested communities and to assess local factors that will impact the efficiency and speed of our deployment, such as the level of community support, local resources, weather conditions, approved construction methods and local regulatory issues.”
The Google Fiber project was first announced on Feb. 10. Since then, public officials from regions across the
However, city officials were adamant that they could provide no economic incentives to help lure the project here. They encouraged locals to both nominate the city through a form Google has posted on its web site and respond to the potential of a Google Fiber Austin project through a website (www.biggigaustin.org ) that has been set up to record citizen input.
“This is not a standard company recruitment campaign,” said Chip Rosenthal, chair of the Austin Community Technology and Telecommunications Commission. “What Google wants is a community to step forward and make their project a success. That’s not something the Mayor can do and that’s not something the Chamber of Commerce can do. That’s something that only we, the broadband citizens of
The city of
“Well, kind of toward the end of the process,” she adds, “there was some state legislation that got passed that prohibited municipalities from directly or indirectly providing telecommunications services.” When asked if the
This time, Hawkins doesn’t expect any like interference. “We are fairly confident that we don’t have any concern,” she says.
As for Google’s potential competition, Time-Warner Cable of
He cited the roll out of the Clearwire 4G wireless broadband network as an example of Time-Warner’s next-generation efforts. He added that Google is one of a handful of investors in that project.
Google has indicated that it would be willing to open up some of its new network to competing Internet service providers.
Applications for participation in the Google Fiber project are due March 26. The Austin Community Technology and Telecommunications Commission will host a forum on the subject tonight at 7pm at City Hall.
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