Glendale Hopes To Be the Next Google Guinea Pig

Oswaldo Diaz

This Friday the city of Glendale, in partnership with Glendale College and other institutions, will submit a proposal that could make the city a trial location for Google’s 1-gigabit-per-second high speed Internet project.

Google is trying to build and test ultra high speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the country. According to Google’s project overview, the service will consist of fiber-to-the-home connections that will be offered at competitive prices to at least 50,000 and potentially as many as 500,000 people.

In Glendale the effort is lead by the city’s Economic Development Manager Ken Hitts, who has created a partnership with Glendale businesses, schools and other institutions in a collaborative effort to create a comprehensive proposal plan for the city to submit.

The effort is voluntary and at Glendale College, Kristin J. Bruno, the dean of instructional services, is doing her part by taking suggestions from teachers and students as to how a faster Internet connection would benefit the school. These suggestions will be sent to the city of Glendale to be implemented in the final proposal plan. Several departments have responded enthusiastically to Google’s proposal.

The dance department is looking forward to sending its large video captures of performances to studios or to online portfolios from the school at a much faster speed.

Paul Buehler, head of the planetarium at Glendale College, looks forward to working with his contacts at JPL and NASA to explore the possibilities that a faster Internet connection could bring to his presentations in terms of experimenting with new software that would take advantage of the new speeds.

Faster Internet speeds would not only benefit students and companies, but the people of Glendale would also be able to send e-mails, download attachments, load videos and carry on with their daily Internet routines quicker. With a 1 gigabit connection, a whole movie could be downloaded in less than 10 seconds, songs downloads would take a blink of an eye and videos would be fully loaded instantly after being clicked. In class students could have the luxury of experiencing a live video presentation from a guest speaker who is halfway around the world. Students could also have discussions with classrooms from different parts of the world via Web-cams, broadening topics liberated from cultural barriers.

However, the project is barely in its preliminary stage of the selection process and cities all over the U.S. are eager to become one of the few chosen by Google. While Glendale is taking a more conservative approach to the selection process some cities have gone to extremes to attract Google’s attention. In Topeka, Kan., the mayor issued a proclamation that for the entire month of March, the city would be renamed Google, Kan.

In Sarasota, Fla., the city island was renamed Google Island. In Greenville, S.C., this past Saturday night citizens armed with glow sticks gathered in downtown Greenville to rave and show their support for the coming of Google Fiber.

While Glendale might not be throwing any public shows of support for Google, the city is doing its best to submit a proposal full of possibilities and anticipating that it will be considered.

For more information on Google’s project visit, or Glendale’s Google fiber site