Mar 292010
 
Authors: K.C. Fleming

The city of Fort Collins officially applied to be a test site for Google’s new fiber-optic high-speed broadband network Friday.

If chosen by Google, Fort Collins would become one of a select few cities across the United States to have access to Google’s ultra-fast new broadcast network. The search engine is choosing test sites from more than 1,100 communities across the nation. It is not yet known how many cities Google will select.

According to Google’s official blog, the network can “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.”

This Internet service would not be free for the nearly 500,000 residents Google hopes to connect with, but the prices will be competitive with other Internet providers according to the blog.

“I think (Google’s) hope is to demonstrate to the marketplace, to the (Federal Communications Committee), to their competitors to say, ‘Look guys this can be done, and why don’t you?’” said Tom Vosburg, the city’s chief information officer.

While other towns such as Topeka, Kansas, which changed its name to Google for a month, are very active in appealing to Google as applicants, Vosburg said he does not think it would be responsible of the city to cause excitement about Fort Collins’s application.

Google is looking for towns with a high volume of utility poles for easy and fast fiber cable instillation, Vosburg said. Because most utility wires in Fort Collins run underground, installation of the new system would be costly and time consuming, a factor likely to discourage Google from selecting Fort Collins.

Even if Google picks Fort Collins, he said, people using its network might have compatibility problems with other networks around the city because it is so much more powerful.

Staff reporter K.C. Fleming can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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