Youngstown interested in high-speed Google network

By Don Shilling


Google is looking for cities where it can install an incredibly fast communications network, and Youngstown wants to be considered.

A local team will begin meeting next week to develop a proposal for how it would use the broadband, fiber-optic network, which Google said will be 100 times faster than current high-speed networks.

Jim Cossler, who assembled the team, isn’t looking for zany gimmicks but practical ideas about how super-fast connections can help im-prove society.

Topeka, Kan., recently tried to grab the attention of the world’s largest Internet search engine by symbolically changing its name to Google, Kan.

Duluth, Minn., responded by producing a YouTube spoof that makes fun of Topeka by declaring that all first-born males in Duluth will now be called Google Fiber, and all first-born females will be called Googlette Fiber.

Cossler, director of the Youngstown Business Incubator, said the local team will focus on making a serious business presentation.

“My sense is that Google is not looking for a high-speed network to deliver today’s technology. Google is looking for a high-speed network to deliver tomorrow’s technology,” he said.

Cossler has assembled 10 people who are charged with developing ideas on how emerging technologies can be used.

Google said increased speeds would allow remote conferences with doctors using three-dimensional medical imaging or remote lectures by university professors who are seen in 3-D.

Google set a deadline of March 26 for submitting proposals. It hasn’t said how many communities will be selected or how much money will be spent.

Cossler said he doesn’t think Google is working on a new nationwide communications network. Instead, he thinks Google’s effort is designed to encourage current providers to invest in increasing the speeds of their networks.

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