We've previously reported on the hijinks and silliness that various cities have undertaken in an effort to win Google's eye – and the promise of the company's future high-speed, broadband connectivity.
Well, Google has finally reached the deadline for proposal submissions for its giant beta broadband test, and it's going to be quite a reviewing process to sort out the winners from the losers: more than 1,100 communities responded with proposals, and more than 194,000 individuals pitched a nomination in the hopes that their communities will receive access to Google's one-gigabit-per-second service.
According to the Google Blog, the company intends to bestow anywhere from 50,000 to 500,000 households with access to its beta broadband service:
"Network providers are making real progress to expand and improve high-speed Internet access, but there's still more to be done," the company said. "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 expected, Google isn't making any decisions just yet. The company will parse down the large list of candidates to a more workable sum after meeting with various connected officials, visiting the actual locations, and doing some research work of its own. Google hasn't announced any specific qualifiers as to what makes one location more viable for its experimental service than another. However, if the company's map of interested locations is any indicator, it appears that the Midwest and East Coast sections of the United States are in for more Google love than the West Coast and the Mountain regions
Google's push for high-speed broadband deployment comes in at an interesting time for ISPs, to say the very least. On the one hand, the Federal Government is pushing for subsidized, high-speed broadband service in an effort to connect more than 100 million households to 100-megabits-per-second Internet capabilities by 2010. On the other, Verizon – provided Google stays out of the wireless playing field – is pulling out of its own fiber-optic broadband expansion and hunkering down on the locations it already services.
That could be quite the boon for Google, provided the company figures out some way to monetize its service (Adwords, anyone?) across a national playing field. It's no doubt that advertising or, at least, connection to Google services that display its advertising, will be a key part of the company's three strategic broadband initiatives going forward, which includes next-generation apps, new deployment techniques, and openness and choice.
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