Internet speeds 100 times faster |

Internet speeds 100 times faster

If a simple application won’t do, Nevada City hopes a parade down Broad Street might get the attention of the world’s most popular search engine and land the city lightning-fast Internet connections.

Google is looking for at least one U.S. municipality with a high level of community support to test out 1-gigabit-per-second connections in a project called “Google Fiber for Communities.” The speeds are 100 times than what most Americans use today.

“The U.S. in far too many places still lags behind many countries in Europe and Asia,” Google spokesman Dan Martin told The Union. “While it’s unlikely that our experiment will be the silver bullet that delivers ultra high-speed Internet access to the rest of America, our engineers hope to learn some important things from this project.”

A local committee that calls itself 95959Google is meeting for the second time tonight at Nevada City Hall to plan the March 14 parade, a publicity stunt that will be filmed and edited into a short video showcasing the area. It will then be posted online for Google’s consideration. Interested parties also submit basic information about their city to the selection committee.

“We’re making the case to Google that we’re the best place to do this,” said 95959Google coordinator John Paul of Nevada City’s Spiral Internet.

Community support, weather conditions and local regulatory issues will be factors in Google’s choice of a host city, according to the project’s Web site. Above all, “we’re interested in deploying our network efficiently and quickly,” the site added.

Small, rural communities still stand a chance.

“We intentionally cast a wide net,” Martin said. “We hope to receive many high quality submissions in order to have a good selection of options for the project.”

Google wants to provide the service to between 50,000 and 500,000 residents, most likely in multiple communities, the site indicated. While local organizers are rallying the residents of the 95959 ZIP code, Paul said, they are open to inviting Grass Valley’s participation if Google wants a larger test area.

With a cluster of high-tech companies, Nevada City would be a prime candidate for the fast connections, Paul said. The city has the engineers who might be interested in developing the software to take advantage of the speedy connections.

“We also want to work with a community where we can bring significant benefits to residents,” stated Google’s project Web site.

At 1-gigabit-per-second, users could download a full-length, high-definition movie in five minutes.

Google also notes other potential uses for the high bandwidth: College students could watch a 3D video stream of a lecturing professor from thousands of miles away, for example.

“Ultra high-speed bandwidth will drive more innovation – in high-definition video, remote data storage, real-time multimedia collaboration, and others that we cannot yet imagine,” the Google site said.

A meeting last Friday set the groundwork for the Nevada City effort, including assigning Suzanne Warren of Silver Avenue Pictures to lead the filmmaking elements.

Over the weekend, organizers set up a Web site about the Nevada City bid, which can be accessed at

Those interested in planning the parade can attend today’s meeting, and those interested in participating as “extras” in the video can show up in downtown Nevada City at 1 p.m. March 14.

To contact Staff Writer Michelle Rindels, e-mail or call (530) 477-4247.

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