Never mind competing to host the Olympics, the current competition is about hosting Google's new ultra-high speed fiber-optic trial run - free installation of a network delivering Internet speeds 100 times faster than the current speeds we are accustomed to. The average Net connection in the U.S. is 3.9 megabits per second which is well behind speeds in South Korea and Japan of 14.6 and 7.9 megabits per second respectively. Google's new ultra-high speed broadband network would provide 1 gigabit per second. For the winning community or communities, Google will incur all costs to install cable to all businesses and homes. That works out to between $3000 and $8000 per home. The network would be "open access" that service providers such as phone and cable companies could piggyback on and then compete for customers. For Google's part, it stands to benefit by expanding its advertising business. Google is now soliciting applications from communities ac! ross the country with closing date of March 26. More than a handful of communities are stepping up with some very creative and wacky ideas to call attention to their community and hopefully be awarded the prize.
(submitted by Judi Carithers)