Town to vie for Google Internet
KENT â€” The town has entered a national competition to receive an ultra-high-speed Internet connection from Google.
According to the competitionâ€™s Web site at google.com/appserve/fiberrfi, Google wants to test an ultra-high-speed broadband network in one or more trial locations across the country.
The network would deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than typical Internet speeds, at more than 1 gigabit per second to connect.
Megabits and gigabits are the rates of speed that are used to measure Internet data and transmission speeds.
If Kent is chosen as a trial location, Google will offer high speed Internet to at least 50,000 people and as many as 500,000. In the 2000 census, Kent was listed as having a population of 2,858.
The company is asking towns and cities across the nation to submit a Request For Information (RFI) to help them determine where they should build the network.
Resident John Mauer is helping prepare the entry. His Kent-oriented Web site is at stoneforge.com.
At the Board of Selectmenâ€™s meeting on Tuesday, March 2, Mauer gave details of the competition to the board.
â€œTo give you an idea of how fast an Internet speed they are offering, Charter Communications currently offers high-speed Internet up to 10 megabits per second if no one else is on,â€ Mauer said. â€œKent School, which is hooked up to the AT&T Internet network, gets 45 megabits per second.
â€œIf we were hooked up to Googleâ€™s service, it would change what businesses in town could do. It could also attract new businesses to our town, especially the types that could use high-speed Internet accessâ€ such as multimedia companies.
â€œThe worst they can say is no,â€ Mauer added.
First Selectman Bruce Adams said the selectmen are in support of applying.
â€œMy initial reaction was â€˜Wow, my Internet is going to be faster, â€˜but thereâ€™s a lot more to it than that,â€ he said. â€œIt has the potential to bring businesses to town that just canâ€™t get these kind of Internet speeds in any other place. There are no guarantees to this, but it will not hurt trying for it.â€
Adams asked anyone who has contacts at Google to call him.
â€œI think I know of at least one person who works at Google, who was a former student of mine,â€ Adams said.
Google has not indicated when it will make a decision.