U.S. Cities Change Names to Attract Google Fiber

March 9, 2010  |  1:59pm

Google Fiber. No, it’s not the name of a new breakfast cereal aimed at senior citizens. The ultra-fast Internet option—promised to offer speeds up to one gigabit a second—is stirring up quite a bit of attention in cities across the U.S. vying to be its test market. And they’re not afraid to go to rather extreme measures to gain Google’s attention.

Last week, Topeka, Kan., announced that the city would temporarily change its name to “Google, Kansas—the capital city of fiber optics.” Not to be outdone, Sarasota, Fla., quickly chimed in with their new name for City Island: Google Island, Florida. But all the attention-grabbing aside, what exactly is all the fuss about? “Our networks will deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today—over 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections,” Google product manager James Kelly told Fox News. “We’ll offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.”

As for the name, for years, Google has been purchasing amounts of unused fiber-optic cable across the U.S., allowing the company to now link those fibers to create the fastest Internet network the nation has seen. And though this seems cutting-edge in the States, it’s actually a move to catch us up with Asian and European locales—areas that have been enjoying lightning-quick Internet for years.

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