Monday, February 15, 2010

Could Roosevelt Island Be A Site For Google's New Ultra High Speed Internet Broadband Network - Hey Google, Give Us A Try

You Tube Video of Google's Experimental Fiber Network

Since Google decided not to send it's Street View Trike to Roosevelt Island last year, here's a second chance for Google to use Roosevelt Island as a site for one of it's new products. A tech savvy reader sends in this message:
First, the link:

Looks like Google is planning to become a Internet Service Provider. At current, they are going to test out their fiber service in small communities and I think our "microcosmic Manhattan" could be a great candidate for this project. Since Google is planning service up to 1 gb/s (roughly 100x what most Americans experience currently) at a "competitive price", this could be just the right kind of competition to push all other service providers out of their stagnant pricing and bandwidth caps.

Because I don't have enough information on the status of broadband connectivity on the island, I am reluctant to fill out the info form on the website. I am also unsure about the willingness of our community to get more connected. Also, I'm not sure what the availability of fiber optic connection is for the buildings on the island. I believe the Octagon is fiber-ready and that's already a ~500 resident market.

I hope that by posting this on the blog we can get the word out to the residents. Not to forget the community leaders who may have a bit more knowledge and influence to bring such a revolutionary project to our little island. It seems like Roosevelt Island has been welcoming these kinds of projects lately (namely, the electric water turbine project from Verdant Power) and we could add to our image of a progressive and positive leader in these eco/techno-logical times.

While RI is technically part of Manhattan and NYC, I think that we may have a better chance of obtaining a top spot in this experiment because of our "small community in a big city" nature. It would be more difficult to implement a project like this in any other borough since they are so dense.

Of course this is not a totally altruistic cause, I know that I and many other people would love a higher bandwidth at lower prices; what with all the internet TV and gaming and media-heavy applications now in use.

Thanks for reading my long email. I just saw this on a blog today and thought this would be a great opportunity for our community.
I asked RIOC Director Jonathan Kalkin what he thought of the idea for Roosevelt Island. Mr. Kalkin likes the idea and replied:
Yes. I saw this the other day on gizmodo and was going to address it at the operations meeting. It looks interesting. From their page it states that anyone can file and government cooperation would be helpful.

I also like some of the initiatives that Google has incorporated on their campus like solar powered parking areas and options for plug-in electric cars. Perhaps this could be a relationship that would branch into other opportunities.
The response deadline is March 26. Governments and communities can respond to Google's Fiber service here.

More on Google's experimental fiber network plan from the NY Times:
Google said Wednesday that it would offer ultrahigh-speed Internet access in some communities in a test that could showcase the kinds of things that would be possible if the United States had faster broadband networks...
The Washington Post adds:
... In experimenting with broadband access, the company said, Google would create networks in a select number of communities across the country to deliver Internet service directly to homes at 1 gigabit per second. Google plans to request proposals from municipalities to determine what areas would be part of the experiment. It said it would pay for the construction and operation of the networks and charge consumers rates that would be competitive with other service providers.

The trials would involve relatively compact areas, the company said, with the networks reaching at least 50,000 and up to 500,000 people. The District has a population of about 591,000...
UPDATE 2/19 - Good News. RIOC and RIRA both agreed to provide information and apply to be a test community for Google's new high speed broadband ISP service. RIOC Director Jonathan Kalkin and RIRA President Frank Farance are both highly interested in this service and will take lead in effort.


Anonymous said...

RI is definitely a very bad choice for Google's broadband network beta roll-out. Why? It's just apartment buildings and it is a pain for a provider to get a strand of fiber into the building and install equipment. It took Verizon quite a bit to get its FiOS service into the already existing buildings.

Anonymous said...

I think it's a wonderful opportunity for Roosevelt Islander residents, hospitals, and store workers! I would love our own building to be a part of this!

Anonymous said...

I sent in a submission! Hope it works!