Ballardites ask Google to test broadband here

Google has introduced a new project to bring super fast internet to select communities and some Ballardites want it here. KingPenguin first posted the notice in the forum. Charlie emailed us, “I’ve lived in Ballard for 6 years and of course, I want this fancy internet.” According to the official Google blog:

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.

Google will collect responses from this application until March 26th. They’ll announce the winning communities later this year. (Thank you everyone for the emails!)

Update: This release came from the Mayor’s office:

Today Mayor Mike McGinn announced that the city of Seattle will respond to Google’s Request for Information (RFI) to build ultra-high speed broadband networks in communities across America.

Google’s vision of a fiber-to-the-home network with open access is very similar to McGinn’s plan to connect every home and business in Seattle with a fiber broadband network. McGinn has already created an internal city government task force of utility and technology leaders to create a plan for realizing this plan. That task force will also prepare a response to Google’s Request for Information.

Seattle will actively seek to partner with Google in creation of a fiber network here. The city itself has many assets to bring to the partnership, including an extensive existing fiber network of over 500 miles connecting every school, college and major government building in the city. In Seattle, 88% of residents have home computers, 84% have Internet access and 74% already have Internet access faster than dial-up. Seattle is a high tech city, with many technology firms both large and small, and a culture of entrepreneurism and innovation.

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

17 thoughts to “Ballardites ask Google to test broadband here”

  1. Similar to Mayor McGinn 's idea except for one minor difference: Google won't ask the public and taxpayers to pay for others ability to download porn.

  2. Here's my blurb to Google:
    A mix of many new residents along with plenty of long-term Ballardites has made Ballard the fastest-growing and most dynamic neighborhood in Seattle. Sadly, we are poorly served regarding broadband, with the monopoly telco (Qwest) and cable company (Comcast) as our only real choices. Help us! Send fiber!
    In return, we promise to live-stream the wondrous images of Ballard, including the salmon swimming upstream through the Locks, the naked bicyclists riding downhill at the Solstice Festival, and our beautiful sunsets over Puget Sound.

  3. I don't think that legally we can get this to happen for the same reason Verizon can't install FIOS in Seattle. The City of Seattle has a 10 year contract with Comcast that doesn't expire until 2016. Most likely Ballard will not be seeing any fiber until 2016 when the 10 years contract with Comcast expires.

  4. That is the first thing I thought when I read this post. There is NO WAY McGinn or any city/state/nation should provide a service like this.

  5. We need all we can get, including fiber-grade bandwidth.
    In 10 years we will have portable and cheap 3d projectors and actual human natural interfaces in 5 (Natal & similar).
    Think about teaching geography by moving hands and 'summoning' to a central 3d screen maps and pictures of other countries and instantly searching and playing videos.
    Think about teaching history as a virtual reality game in the classroom.
    Sure, talented teachers and gifted students all need their voices and their books, but what if you put amazing modern tools at their disposal as well?

  6. “The only honest reason for needing Internet network connection on a household level with a fiber is off-site backup. Middle school do not need fiber, 1/4 T-1 line is ample for extremely high-tech middle school with a social networking software.”

    That's an extremely short-sighted statement. The US lags far behind the rest of the world in network infrastructure, and there is going to be a point where that lack of progress is going to hurt our ability to compete globally. We've been talking about videoconferencing around the world for thirty years now, and those Cisco commercials with Juno talking to kids in China still feels like a pipe dream. It's a shame.

    The real reason Comcast is going to push back on this -hard-is because it's puts Google in direct competition with their overpriced cable TV offerings. If I had a fast enough connection, I'd drop Comcast altogether, and stream everything I watch online through my Mac hooked up to my TV. Comcast doesn't make any money from offering Internet service, they make their money charging you $80 a month for the six channels you watch on a regular basis.

  7. Physical connectivity in the hands of major corporations with ad interests (read: anti-privacy incentives) is a bad idea.

    Of course, a long term contract with someone like Comcast that stifles innovation and competition is another, but that's an entirely different very bad idea.

  8. A few comments to set the record straight. Our network in Washington state consists of thousands of miles of fiber optic lines, including lines deep into the neighborhoods we serve. Each year, we invest close to $100 million to upgrade and maintain this network. Last year, we announced a new speed tier of up to 50 Mbps, and this year we just announced plans with the launch of our new XFINITY brand to introduce speeds of up to 100 Mbps in Washington in the near future, which should provide plenty of bandwidth for Mondoman to show live streaming of salmon swimming through the locks.

    Also, Comcast has a non-exclusive franchise with the City of Seattle, meaning that Google or any other company could come into the city and provide cable television and/or broadband services.

    Steve Kipp
    Comcast Washington

  9. “major corporations with ad interests (read: anti-privacy incentives) is a bad idea”

    But you have no problem with the Government having that power. Maybe you should move to ran, I hear the love State control.

    ” a long term contract with someone like Comcast”

    It's non-exclusive. Read up on the facts a little.

  10. “Think about teaching history as a virtual reality game in the classroom.”

    Utter nonsense….this is why education is getting so expensive with such lousy results, this kind of expensive gimmickry.

Leave a Reply