Editorial: Google high speed would be boon for state
Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 23:02
Cities across the country are clamoring to woo Internet search giant Google in hopes the company will use them in a trial of high-speed cables.
Google, whose reach has expanded beyond its search function into everything from calling services and advertising, is now developing high speed connections.
Morgantown officials, together with West Virginia University and the two students who first brought up the idea, are hoping to make Morgantown's interest known.
Erik Pietrowski, an integrated marketing communications graduate student and Ryan Sigler, a staff member in the College of Engineering and Mineral Sciences, have solicited interest from WVU and the city.
Pietrowski said feedback has been "overwhelmingly positive." Rightly so – the idea is one that would fit Morgantown perfectly.
Though Morgantown does already have high-speed Internet access from several companies, the data packages available and price are not terribly attractive for the speeds available.
Google's proposed fiber optic network would see speeds of 1 gigabyte per second, more than 100 times faster than the average connection.
The company is hoping the trial will spur development from rival companies in an effort to increase interest in faster speeds in the United States.
"Imagine sitting in a rural health clinic, streaming three-dimensional medical imaging over the Web, and discussing a unique condition with a specialist in New York," the project Web site reads. "Or downloading a high-definition, full-length feature film in less than five minutes. Or collaborating with classmates around the world while watching live 3-D video of a university lecture."
Broadband connectivity has long been an issue in West Virginia, with an estimated 60 percent having access to high-speed Internet.
A total of $130 million of federal stimulus money has been dedicated to expanding broadband options in the state – a good sign.
But if Morgantown was given the chance – or any small town in West Virginia – the results could be supremely beneficial.
If companies like Verizon, who are hesitant to expand their fiber optic network in the state, it could spur much-needed development and breed much-needed competition.
Morgantown has the population, the support and the want for this program.
We encourage all students, faculty and staff to voice their support for the program by writing to their city council members. E-mail addresses are available by logging on to www.morgantown.com/council.htm or via this editorial on our Web site at www.thedaonline.com.
News of the effort can be found by logging on to the group's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GoogleMgtn
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