There are a lot of powerful companies in the world. Oil companies, bank companies, weapons companies, media companies. Companies that decide the fates of man and nations alike. But there’s one company out there that trumps them all. It’s the company that controls the flow of information: Google.
It’s hard to believe a simple Internet search engine could change the course of history with a product that it provides for free. But it does. Businesses live and die by their Google ranking; news doesn’t happen unless it’s on Google. Google provides access to a host of open-source office software that’s allowed thousands of companies to wean themselves off of Microsoft’s expensive suites. Google’s android, open-source cellular software tossed a lifeline to anyone willing to take on the iPhone.
And now, Google’s looking at dethroning Big Cable, by providing direct-to-the-home fiber, blowing away the broadband competitors in the Internet Service Provider sector.
Google is looking to partner with a small-ish community to test its ulta-awesome-super-powered high-speed network, and accepted nominations through last month. Longmont, Boulder and Erie are three towns that have pushed for the nomination.
Longmont’s efforts stood out, with a comprehensive explanation of why the town should be nominated, keying in on things like: An already-existing fiber backbone, a municipally-owned electric utility, pre-built easements ready for wiring, citywide WiFi.
Indeed, Longmont’s commitment to 21st Century technology should turn at least a few heads at Google HQ; the mid-sized town is considered one of the best places to live on many polls, is still relatively affordable, and has one of the most awesome community-based magazines in the universe offering local news and entertainment coverage.
By the time you read this, Google’s deadlines for accepting nominations will have passed. But I’m hoping someone at Google might read this column and be swayed as well. Why? What does screaming-fast Internet connectivity mean for Longmont?
Aside from being able to watch all the awesome Internet-only webisodes of The Office that much quicker, this project would position Longmont at the forefront of another revolution in application development.
Google’s open source approach creates a field of competition that encourages explosive growth. Longmont could well be a new beacon in the next-gen of Internet programming, bringing the best and brightest innovators to our cafés and block parties…which would be good for everyone.
Meanwhile, imagine the opportunities this could create in arenas like education or the medical and health industries. The sky’s literally the limit, and a project like this is what turns great cities into utopian ones. And who among us doesn’t want to live in a utopia? The answer’s simple enough. If you want to bring Longmont into the future, if you want to bring access to knowledge and innovation to our professionals and children alike, if you want to bring next year’s ideas into today’s implementation…