Posted by: loiscole22 | February 25, 2010

Hitch Wagon to Star – Repeat

Recently I’ve been doing some research for an alarmingly massive project roll out and have come across an alarming/amusing trend.  Basically we’ve been trolling the sites of municipalities in Ca and in a few other states looking for contact information for a pending announcement and have come across over a dozen embedded links directing citizens to “let Google know that we need fiber!” and the like.

There are a few things wrong with this and one really big thing right.  First of all the links direct people to the individual nomination section of the Google Fiber project RFP.   Great idea but not really the execution that Google was looking for when they divided their respondents into “Governments” and “groups or individuals”.

The button refers to inviduals but I’m certain Google stuck that in to allow room for experienced community organizers with a well hatched plan that has legs.  Not random visitors to the Sunnyvale website who arbitrarily decide to click the link and get redirected to this site.  The next page has a bunch of medium specific questions concerning your nomination.  Interestingly it doesn’t appear that all of the fields are required which leads me to believe that Google is currently sorting through approximately eleventy billion partial responses that can easily (annoyingly) be ruled out off the bat. Perhaps a little too accessible, if you ask me.

Another “wrong” is that the cities with the savvy and wherewithal to place links in their home pages and with residents savvy enough to find and use those links aren’t really the communities that are most in need of this service.  This is admittedly a jaded point of view and stems directly from my line of work but really? Sunnyvale? You don’t need fiber.  Watts, Visitacion Valley and Fresno need fiber.  You’re doing just fine.

Of course what is “right” about this is that for better or worse Google is getting people to think about broadband speeds and has hopefully started the lumbering process towards adjusting our expectation from settling for pokey Internet towards demanding real bandwidth.

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