Google bid a group effort
Fayette County’s city and county governments are preparing a pitch for Google Inc. to make the county a test community for its ultra-high speed Internet service, which would have speeds up to 100 times as fast as currently available.
The Fayette board of education and the county’s development authority, in charge of recruiting business and industry, are also involved in the project.
The governments are asking citizens to help nominate the county by visiting the Google Fiber for Communities website at http://www.google.com/appserve/fiberrfi and clicking on the “Get Involved” button. A Google ID, which can be obtained for free, is needed to complete the nomination form; the deadline for nominations is March 26.
The Google bid committee is also asking residents and businesses to complete an Internet usage survey at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/googleinfayettecounty.
Google plans to offer the high speed Internet service at a “competitive” price to residents. The benefit to Google is practical experience in setting up such a network and opening the doors to new applications for the Internet that currently no one has brainstormed yet due to existing bandwidth constraints.
Peachtree City Information Technology Director Matt Robinson said one such application could be in the healthcare arena, with Piedmont Hospital for example sending a three-dimensional MRI online instead of having to burn it to a disk and transport it physically to an area doctor’s office.
The fast pipe could also benefit education as well, Robinson noted. The city already uses a wireless network for police and fire services to transmit data and would certainly benefit from a high-speed network, perhaps even adding wireless Internet access in places where it hasn’t been possible before, he added.
The high-speed network could also help attract technology companies to Fayette County, Robinson added.
“We have a great industrial park that has leading technology companies like NCR and others,” which could take advantage of the faster Internet as well, Robinson said. “The possibilities are endless.”
Robinson said while existing companies have made improvements in high speed Internet service, the Google plan would bring the fiber optic cable directly into the home.
Robinson said survey input is also needed from residents and business who don’t use the Internet at all. They can do so by using Internet terminals at any local library, he said.