Sarasota raged with Google fever in March for a chance to win Google
Fiber. People were encouraged to vote for their favorite cities and
respond to Google's
RFIs (request for information) in an effort to be selected to receive
Google's ultra-high speed broadband network. Google says its Google
network will provide over 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-home
connections for between 50,000 and 500,000 users.
Orr and Rich Swier
, the I Want Google Fiber in Sarasota
Facebook fan page was launched on Feb. 25, 2010. What began with only a
couple hundred fans quickly grew (in high-speed fashion) to more 7,000
by the deadline week of March 22nd.
"We devoted a lot of time
to make this initiative work and it was worth it," says Orr,
co-founder of The Hub
and co-owner of Local Social
says the community's excitement at the prospect of Google Fiber coming
to Sarasota is exactly what made their campaign such a success.
writing a letter
to Sergey Brin and
Larry Page, co-founders of Google, to Mayor
swimming in a tank
filled with bonnethead sharks, Sarasota was serious about getting on
Google's short list. Sarasota
popular City Island Google Island
. Business leaders
and companies in Sarasota including Mote Marine
, The Hub, Ringling College of Art and Design
Local Social, and Boar's
are showing support, along with community leaders.
says their initiative was a two-fold challenge.
The first was getting Sarasota on Google's radar, and the second was
educating the community on the benefits of Google Fiber in Sarasota.
Google Fiber in Sarasota would probably be one of the most tremendous
economic impacts we've seen," says Orr. "Just look at the jobs that it
would create if Google possibly had a satellite office here in Sarasota,
what that would communicate to the rest of the world. That Sarasota is a
creative community and a player in the digital field. We have all the
make-up here in Sarasota to make our creative class grow."
deadline to submit RFIs was Friday, March 26, and on
Thursday, March 25, a free concert was held on Google Island with
rising star, Lindsey
. Ray even made a special Google Fiber jingle.
happens now? We wait. It is expected that Google will select the
winning city by the end of the year.
For continued updates, check
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Writer: Nancy Vaughn
Orr, The Hub