The FCC’s just-released National Broadband Plan has so far failed to catch the public imagination, important and much-needed though it may be. The problem may be branding. Google Fiber – the prospect of certain American cities being selected as test beds for a new high-speed Internet service from the Drs. of Don’t-Be-Evil – has economic development teams salivating from coast to coast. To the left, I’ve posted the icon from Pittsburgh’s campaign: A parking chair. Citizens are being mobilized from Merced to Memphis, Topeka to Kirksville, Grand Rapids to Austin to … Duluth.
The interesting thing to watch here is how local governments, which are competing for Google’s resources, are bidding in what is in effect an auction conducted by a private company. One wonders how far into municipal governance Google might go. It’s a new and different twist on the idea of a company town.
Duluth? Certainly, according to the Duluth Answer Man: