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« Help Jay help GSO | Main | Seven years on »

Mar 19, 2010

Comments

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Jon Lowder

Downtown Winston-Salem blog has pic of the banner. I'm still wondering if anyone even floated the idea of the various Triad municipalities working together. I'm not saying it's the best idea or even that it would work under Google's terms, but I haven't heard one word about a potential collaboration and given all the talk about regional economic development via groups like PTP I'd like to think that someone at least considered it.

Roch101

"I'm still wondering if anyone even floated the idea of the various Triad municipalities working together."

Yes, and it would put Greensboro at a disadvantage.

Jon Lowder

Thanks for the link Roch. I guess I should have been more specific with what I was thinking when I asked the question: has anyone who is paid to think about economic development or infrastructure (local government, economic development group, PTP,etc.) even considered a regional approach?

Also I read your points in the link provided and I don't agree with some of them. I do wonder about the 500,000 limit, but if you approach it from the angle of regional coordination rather than a single regional submission then you don't bump up against the limit. I do agree with your point about demographics, but I wasn't really seeing it as a 12 county triad initiative but a two or three municipality initiative. In that case the demographics remain very favorable and may even be better.

Final point: I'm not saying it's necessarily a better idea but I would find it discouraging that the idea wasn't even seriously considered.

Ed Cone

Worth considering if GSO and W-S don't make the cut with Google.

Roch101

Bottom line, Greensboro's application is not made better by adding "Oh, do W-S too," and there are good arguments why doing so would complicate it for Google.

Ed Cone

I agree that the Google RFI seems more suited to the individual cities, and in any case that's water over the dam.

But if neither city gets Google, then thinking regionally makes sense as an option. Still may not work for any number of reasons, but worth considering at least.

Jim Caserta

Google has not ruled out multiple locales, and I would imagine it will choose more than one site. It makes for a better test-case to pitch to other fiber providers. They might go with two locales close by. I would imagine GSO & W-S are equally close to any dark-fiber backbone for Google, and building/weather conditions are similar. They might choose more different locales: Portland, OR, vs somewhere in the south (I think Portland makes a lot of sense because it is a tech hotbed that has not seen fiber-to-the-home run there yet, and I don't think there are plans).

Actual Gov't responses may weigh more than grass-roots efforts because lots of permitting will be needed and Google will want the 'star' treatment. This doesn't mean any financial incentives, but a thinning of red-tape will be expected.

Roch101

No point in excluding ideas in advance, but I'll need some education to see the benefits to Greensboro of a regional approach. Things like the procurement of water and waste disposal benefit from the economies of scale that regional approaches provide. The opposite is true for "regional" internet, increasing costs, time to market and regulatory obstacles with no increase in rate of return.

This matters because I can see Greensboro's next effort, if we don't get Google, including discussion of a municipal system and the inclusion of additional jurisdictions would just get in the way of that most expeditious approach. Again, show me how a regional approach makes it more likely that Greensboro will get faster internet sooner or cheaper and I'll change my tune...

Ed Cone

JC - I don't think there's any doubt that the official response is the first big thing to get right.

In terms of public response, I would think that grassroots projects are more meaningful than paid hoopla, although the latter can help generate the former.

Roch101

From Google's answers to questions about the project (hat tip: Greensboro is Talking):

"Do we apply as a single municipality or as a region (including 4-6 municipalities?"

"Above all, we're interested in deploying our network efficiently and quickly, and are hoping to identify interested community partners that will work with us to achieve this goal. If we were required to obtain several different regulatory approvals across several different review boards, it may limit our ability to build quickly."

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