Saturday, February 13, 2010

Google Fiber for Communities

So Lev Gonick has started an effort to get Google to choose Cleveland and/or Northeast Ohio for its Google Fiber for Communities. I of course followed the twitter account Lev created for this purpose - Google1Gig4CLE. Lev has been very active in bringing broadband and it's benefits to Cleveland, with OneCommunity and the effort around University Circle and Case University.

My question for Lev is this - what's the plan?

So you can read Google's Overview or the FAQ, but you can also see the video below:

On thing that seems critical to Google's effort is the support of the various local governments. What I'd like to see is a coordinated effort to get Google to deploy fiber to not just Cleveland per se, but Northeast Ohio region in general. As Lev tweeted to, a consolidated effort by the whole NEO region was succesfull in getting Cleveland chosen as the location for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The difference here though is the potential for competition between NEO communties for the attention of Google.

So that's the point behind my question to Lev. What's the plan to coordinate to coordinate all of us that are interested in getting Google Fiber for Communities to our particular community without getting in each other's way?. Rather, how do we make a pitch so that we all are selected, that the NEO region is chosen for Google's effort?

Perhaps a Google Sites site to collaborate on plans and to help disseminate th e word to people. Including the Mayor's and other local government politicos that need to be involved to make this happen across the region. How do we get our schools to participate? Not just Case, but how do we include Cleveland State, John Carroll, Oberlin, Kent State, University of Akron, Baldwin Wallace, Loraine, Lake, and Cuyahoga Community Colleges, and the area public and private secondary school systems? How to get the Museums, (Art, Natural History, etc), involved? The Cleveland Orchestra. And what about our sports teams and Playhouse Square.

How do we get the Musuem of Contemporary Art and the Cleveland Institute of Music to collaborate on a broadband pitch for the region? And everything else this region has to offer.

But most importantly, how do we get local politicians and counties to collaborate to make a collaborative and consolidated effort to bring Google Fiber to all our NEO Communities? How do we get Frank Jackson, Bruce Akers, Gregory Costabile, Donald Plusquellic on the same page?

Is it even possible? Or do each of our local communities just go for it on their own. Which if that is the case, you have to convince me why I should support your effort over mine to get the fiber for the community in which I am a resident.

What are the economic benefits to Google to select our communities, or even just Cleveland? How do we collectively make our pitch?

With a decreasing population we really need to make a strong case for our selection. That needs to get coordinated in a very short period of time. I don't think simply getting 1000 followers is going to do it - though it certainly can't hurt!

P.S. Sorry, I'd like to add more Akron/Canton and other NEO organizations/communities, etc., but I don't know them...I need to fix that. There are also many other organizations and individuals I could have included.

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