What a month! Actually, it’s only been 2 weeks… We’ve been busting our butts getting an application together for the Google Fiber-To-Home project. If you haven’t heard (that means you haven’t talked to me in 2 weeks), Google is looking for a city or region to test high-speed fiber-optic internet piped straight into the home. The benefits are incredible – speeds up to or exceeding 100 times the existing internet bandwidth – over a gigabit… That’s fast.
Google put out a request for information in February to municipalities and regions asking them to describe their existing data infrastructure, physical geography, and regulatory process, and other items relating to the implimentation of a fiber-based network. The also asked community members to nominate their municipalities for the effort. Greater Lansing has a website – www.GreaterLansing4Google.com – where people can go to learn more and to find the link to the google community member nomination form.
If you’re in Greater Lansing or if you’ve ever lived here, you know how much of an impact this would have! While the auto companies were shutting down plants left and right, a small number of entrepreneurs started getting creative and building new businesses that take advantage of the incredible pool of talent in Mid-MI. Fast forward a few years and we find ourselves without Oldsmobile, fewer shifts at the Delta plant, and a couple of other challenges… but we also find ourselves in something of a creative rebirth. the region is brimming with smart, creative entrepreneurs that are ready to compete in a global marketplace. We’ve got film companies, PR firms, international insurance company headquarters, award-winning biotech firms, an advanced physics research facility called the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, a big-ten research university with a new campus in Dubai, and tons of other tech- and band-width heavy applications that can take advantage of this new technology.
We need people to tell the story of what they could do with ridiculously fast internet. From telecommuting to cloud computing to streaming media to who-knows-what, we need to paint the pictures to illustrate the story that Greater Lansing is not a rust-belt city consigned to the fate of a slow decline, but a bustling, forward-thinking apex of urban renaissance within mid-Michigan. We have had failures in the past, but that is because we were not at the helm. There is no better time to rethink our future than the present – let’s do this!