Yesterday was the deadline for states, counties and cities across America to make their pitch to be part of the Google Fiber network, which is capable of downloading Internet data at one billion bits per second. More than 190,000 individuals and 600 communities submitted applications.
Since Google announced its plans to build experimental, ultra high-speed broadband networks, the response has been amazing ... and humorous. The map above displays where the responses were concentrated. Each small dot represents a government response, and each large dot represents locations where more than 1,000 residents submitted a nomination.
Now, Google isn't going to be able to build in every interested community, but its plan is to reach a total of at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people in order to learn lessons from this experiment that will help improve Internet access everywhere.
To boost their chances of being selected, a number of mayors and community leaders used YouTube to promote their bids with humorous stunts.
Richard Clapp, the mayor of Sarasota, Florida, used himself as shark bait to attract a much bigger fish: the world's largest Internet search engine.
Not to be outdone, Don Ness, mayor of Duluth, Minnesota, leaped into the icy waters of Lake Superior to make his pitch for Google Fiver.
Topeka, Kansas, unofficially renaming itself "Google" for a month.
Not to be outdone, Duluth produced a parody news conference that took a gentle swipe at Topeka. In the parody, a faux Duluth mayor promises to name every first-born son and daughter in the city Google Fiber and Googlette Fiberette, respectively.
Madison, Wisconsin, hired a video production company to produce a series of pitches from residents. In this one, a local business woman gives Google the hard sell: "You need to come here, you need to take care of us, because we are ready."
Not to be outdone, Duluth issued the following Google Alert.
Peoria, Illinois, created an animated short film on the melancholy nature of life without Google Fiber -- complete with a haunting piano soundtrack -- and highlighted the vast amounts of data that could be downloaded in the short time it takes the video to play.
Not to be outdone, Duluth responded with the video below.
Columbia, South Carolina, got film maker and mayoral candidate Aaron Johnson to create a YouTube video with instructions for residents on how to help the town's chances.
An Open Letter to Google From Columbia Regarding Google Fiber
Not to be outdone, Duluth enlisted US Senator Al Franken, a Minnesota native, to make this pitch.
Google will take several months to decide where to their new system. But, my money is on Duluth. The "Portal to the World" will not be outdone.
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