I don’t need to tell you that Pittsburgh is a city on the brink. We’re a breeding ground for startups, a few plots of land away from full riverfront development, and we’ve got a plethora of thriving local businesses. Our vibrant and passionate community is what makes these things possible.
A community of connected individuals, young professionals, investors, and concerned citizens who have the power to make things happen just by the click of a mouse is a revolution; and it’s happening in Pittsburgh.
Why not take it to the next level?
Google is searching for the best place in the nation to test their new ultra-high speed broadband network and Pittsburgh is “ready, willing & able.”
Google will create a one-gigabit per second Internet service network, which will be 100 times faster than what is currently offered by companies like Comcast and Verizon. What’s even more remarkable about this project is that Google promises to offer competitive rates so that up to 500,000 people in the chosen community would be able to afford and enjoy the service in their homes, offices, and public places.
Steve Klabnik, Chief Technical Officer of local startup CloudFab, is enthusiastic at the prospect of Google choosing Pittsburgh. “It’s like when the first cars couldn’t go very fast; only short trips were possible. Once engines got better, they enabled longer trips.” Steve is also interested in the prospect of Google becoming a competitor to Verizon and Comcast. “Right now, there isn’t much competition for Internet services around here. Google would make Verizon and Comcast improve their service and drop their prices, which is good for everyone.”
From now until March 26th, citizens and local officials can submit their suggestions to Google as to why their city or community should be chosen for the trial. It has also been noted that the Google Fiber trial will not cost the chosen community a penny- Google will take care of all of the expenses related to the testing.
The City of Pittsburgh firmly believes that Pittsburgh is the best choice for the Google Fiber experiment; they’ve set up a website with more information and a link to contact Google directly. The site also includes a comments section to share thoughts and questions along with representation from a slew of community supporters including the Pittsburgh Technology Council, UPMC and Carnegie Mellon University.
In speaking to KDKA this week, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl was quoted as saying: “Google has said it will pick a city that proves that citizens and businesses are excited as its government. We are excited, we are ready, we are able, but we need your support.”
Mike Woycheck, Technology Analyst at Innovation Works, believes that the Google Fiber initiative would have far-reaching benefits: “The Pittsburgh tech startup community across all sectors such as web/software, entertainment, medical applications, networking, and others would gain a significant competitive advantage by getting an early opportunity to understand where the world will be in a few years.”
Adam Jette, a computer programmer, put it bluntly: “More tech means more work, and more work means more competitive salaries.”
Regarding industry leadership and efficiency, Woycheck added, “Companies that are developing significant content offerings such as video, rich media, and gaming/entertainment could leverage gigabit speeds to position themselves as industry leaders in their respective field(s). More and more startups moving to cloud computing offerings such as Amazon’s Web Services and Google’s App Engine could deploy their web/internet based applications much more efficiently while maintaining flexibility to host whatever resources they need on-site cost effectively.”
Do you think Pittsburgh is a great location for the Google Fiber tests? If you’re interested in adding your voice to the cause, make sure to let Google know your thoughts by March 26th.
Photo credit: Brian Cohen
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