Tag Archives: google fiber for communities

Split Google Loyalties

Today I attended the Linking Winston-Salem luncheon and part of the program was a plea to support the Winston-Salem effort to get Googled. Winston-Salem is a little late getting started with its public push, especially when you compare it to Greensboro's weeks old effort, but I guess it's better late than never, and since I live in the Winston-Salem burbs I'm happy to see them going for it.

On the other hand thanks to my job and my long-time interest in the Greensboro blog community I've also been invited to participate in their various Google-wooing efforts.  Typical of Greensboro they've been working out the kinks in public, but they seem to be making decent headway.

I've been thinking about this and I've come to the conclusion that I can't be the only one who's in this situation.  I'm guessing that since this isn't an election I can vote for as many municipalities as I want, but I'm also guessing that Greensboro and Winston-Salem could be missing an opportunity.  Wouldn't a consolidated, regional effort for the Triad make a lot of sense to Google?  I haven't studied the requirements in depth so I don't know if this is even an option, but if it is I can think of a lot of compelling reasons for a Piedmont Triad effort:

  • The combination of all the higher ed institutions in the Triad is pretty impressive (Wake, UNCG, Winston-Salem State, NC A&T, High Point U, Salem College, Greensboro College, UNCSA, etc.)
  • The combination of all the large, public corporations between the two cities
  • Each of the cities is doing some pretty cool economic development on its own (FedEx and HondaJet in Greensboro, PTRP in Winston-Salem) but when considered together the efforts seem even more impressive

That's just three positives off the top of my head, and I'm sure that there are people who will let me know if I'm all wet, but I still have to ask if a joint effort has even been contemplated?

I do realize that Google's basic info page says "We'll offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people" and that even if you combined only Greensboro and Winston-Salem you'd be awful close to the upper limit so the entire Triad would obviously exceed it.  Still, if Google's going to wire multiple mid-sized cities wouldn't it be of interest to them to do a couple in close proximity for purely logistical reasons?  And if that's the case wouldn't it make sense for the various players in the Triad to throw in together to make a really, really compelling case with Google?  Just askin'.