I will report on the other agenda items of tonight's City Council meeting tomorrow, but the most important item on the docket was the Google initiative to bring 1 Gigabit broadband data service to our area. How can one not get excited about how this issue is coming together in such a thorough and expedited manner?
Let's review a few important happenings on this subject
1) Woogle Twitter Account
2) Woogle Facebook Account
3) Hickory Daily Record Article (2/23/2010) - Hickory bid for Google 'gigatest' moving fast
4) WHKY Article (3/2/2010) - Catawba, Caldwell Counties Combine to Woo Google
Kim Hudson who is a consultant for this process made the presentation to the Hickory City Council on March 2, 2010. Ms. Hudson has an extensive history in the cable industry. She stated that in the last week a team of leaders have been formed from Catawba County, Caldwell County, The City of Hickory, and the City of Lenoir. Deborah Ashley, the Head of the Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce, was introduced and helped Ms. Hudson with the presentation.
Mrs. Ashley thanked the Council for allowing Caldwell County to participate in the project. She explained the project to the council. This information is the information I have brought you about this project over the last several weeks and I link to those articles at the bottom.
Mrs. Ashley stated how competitive this process will be. She believes that as many as 2,000 communities in the United States will apply for this opportunity. She mentioned Topeka, Kansas as one of those communities.
There are three weeks left until the deadline to apply for this test grant. Some of the things that will be looked at in this proposal will be technical data, stringent demographic data, innovative ideas to transform a community, and community support.
Ms. Hudson spoke about the key stakeholder committee that meets every Monday. She showed the Logo that was developed. She went over the message that this group wants to deliver to Google, which involves the concept of the Data Center Corridor. The local media has been engaged as well as methods of social networking.
They are attempting a Viral Marketing Strategy and build information into the official website that has now gone live. Google is looking for a community that is a quick responder, the community is really behind it, and the community is ripe for transformational change. Then she went over the Facebook and Twitter accounts that have been formed. She wants everyone to join and inform their friends of these sites and get them to join in.
Google wants to know what the community would do with Gigabit access. What bottlenecks exist today that this network will help us overcome. Think creatively. Leaders of the initiative have reached out to the local school systems at all levels and the business community. They want people to plop information all over these fan pages that can be disseminated and used as a method of funneling information to the official request for information response. The deadline for application is March 26, 2010 and Ms. Hudson stated that the group intends to apply on March 24, 2010 for contingency purposes.
As part of this process, here are ways that you can help with this process:
1) You can take the community survey online at the official site - Link to survey.
2) Everyone create videos - General Public, Government Sponsored, Students, Primary Education, and higher Education
3) Involve Community and Business Leaders - Healthcare, Industry, Small Business, Education, Government, Civic Groups, Fire and rescue, Utilities, and General Population
4) Chat It Up! - Organize and participate in various community group meetings - Use formal PowerPoint presentation or talking points at community meetings; Collect and document community input via written surveys and video
5) Encourage groups and individuals to submit Google nominations - Apply Here
6) Civic Organizations - Ask for time on the agenda, Utilize existing small databases, conduct e-mail blasts
7) Coordinate Local Optical Cable Vendors - Corning, Draka, and Commscope.
The Hound hopes that you will understand how important this process is to our community. This is a game changer. We cannot afford to minimize the importance of this to our community. Get excited and participate people. This is a rare moment where you can stare at your destiny. Whether or not this does happen, and we have a better shot at making this happen than most, you will be able to say that you gave it your all. This is not only about turning around our current situation, but this is also a building block for a firm foundation for our future and our descendants' future. Please don't let this opportunity slip away easily. Participate!!!
Links to previous related articles:
City of Hickory - Thinking Big with a Gig
I have a Dream - A 21st Century Hickory
Resolution By the City Council:
RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT FOR GOOGLE
FIBER TO THE HOME AND BUSINESS INITIATIVE
WHEREAS, the City of Hickory is committed to maintaining and enhancing the quality of life for its citizens and recognizes that supporting the Google Fiber to the Home and Business initiative will boost economic development for new and current businesses, which adds to the quality of life for all; and
WHEREAS, the Hickory/Lenoir Google application includes municipalities and counties along the U.S. 321 corridor in Catawba and Caldwell Counties; and
WHEREAS, the intent of the Google project is to eliminate the bandwidth bottleneck so that Google can develop and test high speed network applications, and Google will open their network to any and all service providers who want access to a large bandwidth “pipe” to businesses and households; and
WHEREAS, the local governments in partnership with water, power, communication providers and more will assist Google with implementing the new infrastructure of a one gigabit per second connection, which is 100 times faster than the current connection available in the area; and
WHEREAS, our community expects to see significant economic growth through participating with Google, as it will open doors and be an attraction for local business to stay and more businesses to move here which creates more opportunity for all citizens and local governments.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Hickory supports Google Fiber to the Home and Business initiative and is committed in concept to working with neighboring municipalities, counties, universities, colleges, businesses and industries to bring the ultra fast fiber network to our community.
Adopted this the 2nd day of March, 2010.
THE CITY OF HICKORY,
A North Carolina Municipal Corporation