Friday, March 26, 2010

Gathering Spells Out Support for Google

In an effort to convince Google to pick Pittsburgh for a free trial of is super high-speed internet service, mayor Luke Ravenstahl held a Google rally downtown on what he's calling "Google Day." But his efforts may pale in comparison to those of other officials around the country who are outdoing themselves to entice Google. More than 200 municipalities are trying to win Google's favor. Downtown workers, city employees and passers-by formed the word Google and had their picture taken from above to accompany the city's application. The broadband offered by Google would be 100 times faster than what's currently available. Advocates say the service could revolutionize everything from health care related communication over the internet to online academics and entertainment streaming. Google will offer free service to a "demonstration city" to show that fast, inexpensive broadband network access is possible without going through traditional cable and telephone providers. The application for the internet service is due today, Google's decision is expected in the fall. But Ravenstahl emphasized that the city still had four more months to press its case, since the company will still be deliberating. And like the chairs that held parking spaces in Pittsburgh during the February snow storms, Ravenstahl says there will be a lawn chair in city hall, reserving Google's place in Pittsburgh.

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