Want a quick path to ensuring Berkeley’s position as a center for innovation? How about applying — and winning — the competition to be one of the test sites for Google’s plan to test ultra high-speed broadband networks. Here’s Google’s pitch:
We’re planning to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the United States. We’ll deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. We plan to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.
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.
Like our WiFi network in Mountain View, the purpose of this project is to experiment and learn. Network providers are making real progress to expand and improve high-speed Internet access, but there’s still more to be done. We don’t think we have all the answers – but through our trial, we hope to make a meaningful contribution to the shared goal of delivering faster and better Internet for everyone.
As a first step, today we’re putting out a request for information (RFI) to help identify interested communities. We welcome responses from local government, as well as members of the public.
The city has until March 26 to get a great application together. There’s an excellent assessment of Google’s announcement at GigaOm.
I just tested the speed of my broadband connection, using Comcast Cable. I get 5 megabits per second down and 3 up. One gigabit per second would provide 200 times that speed down and over 300 times up. Wouldn’t that be wonderful for Berkeley?