| Friday October 24th 2014

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Google makes plea for broadband conduit


Since early February, over 1,100 communities have applied to be part of Google’s experimental 1Gbps, open-access, fiber-to-the-home Internet service, including applicants who have promised to change the name of their town to Google (temporarily), name their expected twins after Google’s co-founders (if they’re boys), or train their puppy to bark “Google” (sort of) every time the phrase “high speed Internet” is mentioned.

GoogleBut while the search engine giant has yet to decide which of these applicants will win the 1Gbps prize, the company is trying to enroll all of them, and everybody else, in what amounts to an advocacy campaign “for common-sense federal and local policies that would help fiber deployments nationwide.”

All the details will show up on Google’s new fiber-for-communities website, which will update the public on the project, and comes complete with a “thank you” YouTube video for all the fiber hopefuls—including the mayor who swam in a shark tank “to show his dedication to our cities’ pursuit of Google fiber.”


The key components of this campaign include showing support for bills in the House and Senate that would require all new federally funded construction projects to include broadband conduit—plastic pipe that can house fiber-optic communications cable. Google also wants cities to establish the same policies for construction projects that involve street work.

“We’d like every city and community that shares our interest in expanding the speed of the Internet to make conduit installation an integral part of their own road construction/repair process,” Google says. “We encourage local governments to take concrete action on this and complete the dream of ultra high-speed Internet in their own towns.”

The company emphasizes that participation in this campaign isn’t going to get any of those 1,100 city applicants special consideration when it comes to picking testbed winners, but we’re betting that more than a few aldermen, supervisors, and city council members in those fair towns are now thinking about conduit ordinances, if they haven’t already.

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