Update from the Fiber Team - How Would You Use a Gig?

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Google Fiber

Sep 15, 2010, 2:19:18 PM9/15/10
to Fiber For Communities
Hi Fiber Enthusiasts!

My name is Jennifer Soffen and I lead the Product Marketing Management
team for the Google Fiber project. In the past I've worked on WiFi
projects at Google. Anyone enjoy our 2009 Holiday WiFi project with
free wireless Internet in the Airports?

As I continue to pursue my love to get people connected to the
Internet, I am trying to brainstorm ways in which people would use a
Gig coming into their home. Can any of you give me some great

Here are some that I've come up with:
Downloading Videos
Searching Even Faster
Better Voice over IP

...what can you add?

Thanks for all of your help and enthusiasm!


Tim Couillard

Sep 15, 2010, 4:26:19 PM9/15/10
to Fiber For Communities

Thanks for the introduction.

We in Peoria, IL have asked our community what they would do with a
gig and here's a sample of the responses.

Doug Leunig - What wouldn't you do with it? I would no longer suffer
the video freezing seizures that wreck my enjoyment of watching things
on-line. That alone is worth the purchase price. Sign me up!

Jennifer Levin - I would be able to run my home-based business more
effectively because I wouldn't have the delays I have presently.

Joshua Gramlich - I would like to see us to think bigger on the ideas.
Better TV and online interactive education are a good start, but what
hasn't been done yet? Here's a couple:

Physicists working at Fermilab in Batavia, IL might consider moving to
a location with cheap, easily available, gigabit internet access. When
the Tevatron eventually closes, many will consider (and already have)
moving to Switzerland because the data sets they work with are so
enormous that current network technology limits the distance at which
this data can be transferred over efficiently, or cheaply.

Remote medical diagnosis is an upcoming field in medicine. Doctors
from all over the world will one day have access to highly detailed
diagnostic imagery over the internet. Then, say, in an emergency,
hundreds of doctors could be made available, any time of day, any day
of the year, to diagnose patients over the internet by looking at x-
rays, sonograms, ct scans, etc. The current limitation is that many of
these medical imaging technologies use resolutions that are many times
that of even the newest consumer digital cameras. The size of these
images can be several gigabytes and there can be hundreds or even
thousands of images to analyze for an individual case. This type of
diagnosis on a large scale just cannot work with the current

Neither of these ideas is unique to Peoria, however. They're also more
business oriented than personal living oriented

I'm thinking for in home use, we should look first to, of all things,
a Microsoft product. Come November 2010, Microsoft should be releasing
the consumer version of what they're calling Project Natal. If you
haven't seen this before, please stop reading and go look for it on
YouTube *right now*.

I think Natal will have an even bigger impact than the proposed Google
network. Natal will change everything. It'll kill the Wii, it'll kill
multi-touch (not really, but multi-touch won't be nearly as important
after Natal), it'll kill the telephone, it'll kill skype, email,
instant messaging, everything.

They're marketing Natal as a toy, much like the Wii (Natal is an Xbox
360 addon), but it will be so much more than that. Natal will finally
bring the Star Trek computing experience to your everyday life. It can
recognize a human being, both face and voice, and enough artificial
intelligence is built in so that it can interact with a human being in
a limited sort of way...in English.

You'll walk into your living room in the morning and ask "Natal,
what's the weather going to be like today?" and it's going to pull up
the weather channel local page on your TV for you and read the
forecast to you while you're examining the radar picture...and you
won't have touched a thing...no keyboard, no mouse, no remote.

The camera system can follow you around; recognize your movements,
your face, the position of your body. Your body becomes the
controller. Think of browsing through your movie library on your TV by
waving your hand...much like you'd scroll through photos on an
iPhone....just in the air instead of touching a screen.

Greg Ward - I work for a software company and often have to download
large databases from clients to fix a problem they are experiencing.
This kind of speed would be a huge benefit to me.

John Turton - I would talk to friends in the community, talk to
friends all over the states, one friend in Europe, and one in Canada.
Talk to my relatives in Canada! I would use it for school, for games,
music. Sharing photos, I ♥ photography! Used to have dial up, it some
times was getting a 12 kbps. Glad that is gone! The good of what can
be done with fiber optics is limitless, one of the best things are
bring a community together, and improving education! I love your
email, and chrome (quality products)! GO GOOGLE!

James Galyen - I would use the new high speed internet, most
importantly, for high speed video conferencing while remotely working/
developing software over long periods of time. This would allow me to
find distributed work with other people in different states, and even
countries, while remaining in the Peoria area.

I will also run my own personal web server, as well as suggest my
company to shift from working in just application development to
owning web servers and selling web space again.

Michael Ordaz - The Best Benefit Would be to Schools and Large
Company's (Caterpillar and the hospitals) . Which Is the Foundation of
Peoria's Economy and Future. As far as home use goes, I believe that
it's not the download that is important. It's the upload speeds. For
People who have an Interest in personal or small business Web Pages,
Uploading videos and such Will Be Less of a hassle. DO IT GOOGLE.

T.E. Horwitz - Use the new bandwidth to build an wireless camera
surveillance system in the parks and on high crime rate areas. We are
having police cuts and with the money we could spend on just a couple
of their salaries we could provide video proof able to keep our
citizens safe

Tom Bardeen - Ultra High Speed Bandwidth would restore my sanity! Yes,
I'm enjoying the New Age Communications thing, but waiting over an
hour a day for a computer to respond, staring at a screen, hoping my
train of thought will still be there when the screen comes back up,
has caused mental damage, that's for sure! Ultra High Speed Bandwidth
would restore my sanity!

Amanda Kekona - i work from home via the internet. all of the work i
do is on the internet, also. so to have access to fiber internet would
change for the better my efficiency. i am so excited for this

Jennifer C. - I work at a hotel in Morton and it would be very
beneficial not only to research information for my guests about
questions they have, but also beneficial for the guests themselves. My
family is highly excited about the potential higher speeds in the
area. My husband and daughter both love to play video games. So the
loading speeds would be increased and lag time would hopefully be
nearly eliminated. I am a huge fan of watching the shows I've missed
during the week online. It would be fantastic if the loading and
buffering times of these shows would be sped up. GOOGLE PLEASE PLAY IN

Google Fiber

Sep 15, 2010, 5:12:25 PM9/15/10
to Fiber For Communities
Hi Tim,

Thanks. I think these will be very useful. I appreciate you sending
them along! It's a very powerful thing to be able to communicate and
get access to information more quickly as I can see from the
insightful ideas from your community.



Sep 15, 2010, 9:14:19 PM9/15/10
to Fiber For Communities
Hi Jennifer! My name is Kasey Clark. I am a Systems Engineer in
Topeka, Kansas and have always wondered what would change in the
consumer market when a 1Gb/s link was brought to the home. I have
looked at weekly builds of Chromium OS and thought that computing will
eventually come full circle. I work at a company who still leverages
green-screen applications, and am thinking that 1Gb/s would be more
than enough speed to sustain Server-Side hardware openGL rendering.
This opens up a very large market to consumers, who would buy a very
low cost low power thin client (Chromium OS, of course!) and connect
into a server farm hosted somewhere in the city. These thin clients
could even be recycled computers, because the footprint of Chromium OS
is so small, it wouldn't matter the specs of the client. The OS would
do nothing but leverage the Cloud for storage, and would be a
persistent underlying thin client OS, making it more secure. The
server farm could host up games/google video/etc to the thin client,
performing all graphic and processor rendering on the farm. This would
not only lessen the need for users to buy the latest and most powerful
hardware, but also keep computers from ending up in a landfill,
something we should all be working towards. Thanks you SO much for
starting these groups and keeping the conversation going, because this
will not only impact the cities that you choose, but the world and
computing as we know it!

Kasey Clark

Jennifer Soffen

Sep 16, 2010, 1:18:34 AM9/16/10
to Fiber For Communities
Hi Kasey,

Thanks for your reply! I love reading what community members in the
field are thinking, especially about this topic. I like your ideas!


Ben Damman

Sep 16, 2010, 1:52:30 AM9/16/10
to yesa...@gmail.com, Fiber For Communities
Hi all,

I agree with Kasey that high bandwidth fiber networks could precipitate at least one major paradigm shift, such as substantial migration to thin client architectures backed by local community data centers. Although this is appealing for many reasons (e.g. it can be more power efficient/green and provide dramatic hardware savings for consumers and businesses) we should also keep in mind that it has potential to shift more control in the opposite direction as well. (Greater client side control.) The net result, in my opinion will be a blurring of the line between client- and server-sides.

When both servers and end users have identical transfer rates they can start behaving less like client-server and more like distributed nodes in a peer-to-peer network.

For example, let's say I'm uncomfortable uploading my photos to a website like Facebook. Thanks to 1 Gbps Google fiber I'll be able to host these myself from my Mac at home. Perhaps I'll host my own Diaspora social network seed (joindiaspora.com) which could allow me tighter control over who can do what with those photos. This sort of self-hosting activity is not practical at the moment due to bandwidth constraints.

Furthermore, we could all donate our computers' idle time to projects such at SETI@Home, which need help processing vast amounts of raw scientific data and are currently held back by current transfer speeds. Just think: a google fiber community could be instrumental in digesting scientific data that leads to a cure for cancer or the discovery of extraterrestrial life. In other words, we become a supercomputer that can process large amounts of data in parallel. All basically on the client-side. Almost without trying or having to learn anything new.

There are several distributed/cloud computing experiments I personally want to run in Duluth and Superior should 1 Gbps  connectivity become available.

Ultimately I'm certain we'll each want to watch Google TV and do more of the same (albeit at much faster speeds) but it's important to remember that what makes networks great are the connections we can create; what strikes me as most compelling about high speed networks are their potential to unleash what we can do together.

After all, I'm not sure that my brain could handle 8+ hours of 1 Gbps of data. (Um, that's over 3.5 terabytes of information per day if Google is giving me the correct answer.) But perhaps collectively we'll find ways to make use of all that "bandwidth surplus."

I am reminded of a video we showed at our fiber initiative's kick-off press conference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL9Wu2kWwSY

Power to the cloud-people! :-)

Ben Damman
A proud member of the GoogleTwinPorts.com team
Duluth, Minnesota

Nick Xidis

Sep 16, 2010, 11:33:32 AM9/16/10
to jso...@google.com, Fiber For Communities
Hi Jennifer.

We own a handmade chocolate shop. When we're away, we can remotely access the video system to keep an eye on things. Faster connections would improve the quality experience

Nick Xidis


Sep 16, 2010, 1:08:52 PM9/16/10
to Fiber For Communities
Well, here in the Twin Ports (Duluth,MN / Superior,WI) I know a LOT of
college and high school students who would kill for better gaming
connections. We have two state universities, the college of st.
scholastica, lake superior college, duluth business university, fond a
lac tribal and community college, wisconsin indianhead technical
college, and MANY high schools in the area. There is def. not a lack
of gamers in the area. I feel I can also speak for that group in
saying any increase in the speed of facebook pages loading or netflix
streaming would make our lives a lot easier, not to mention scholastic
use for the internet. Personally, I'd like online backup at speeds
that are the same as an internal hard drive...No more hard drive
failure nightmares then!

Jennifer Soffen

Sep 16, 2010, 1:37:04 PM9/16/10
to Fiber For Communities
Hi Nick,

I love chocolate! That sounds like a great idea, thanks for passing


On Sep 16, 8:33 am, Nick Xidis <nxi...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi Jennifer.
> We own a handmade chocolate shop. When we're away, we can remotely access the video system to keep an eye on things. Faster connections would improve the quality experience
> --
> Nick Xidis

Jennifer Soffen

Sep 16, 2010, 1:39:04 PM9/16/10
to Fiber For Communities
Hi Ben,

Great suggestions -- I love your idea for hosting your own social
network! I bet you'd love that movie "The Social Effect"

> most compelling about high speed networks are their *potential to unleash
> what we can do together.*
> After all, I'm not sure that my brain could handle 8+ hours of 1 Gbps of
> data. (Um, that's over *3.5 terabytes of information per day* if Google is
> giving me the correct
> answer<http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=1+Gbps+*+8+hours&...>.)


Sep 16, 2010, 4:51:27 PM9/16/10
to Fiber For Communities
Hi from Superior, Wisconsin (part of the Twin Ports Google Fiber

Hey Jen, I did enjoy the free wifi Google provided. I was stuck at
SeaTac trying to catch a flight to SLC so I could get home, and it let
me pass the time (gotta keep current on my Google Reader, otherwise
the unread articles get outta hand). Did the SeaTac airport authority
take over handling your wifi that Google setup? Because they now allow
free wifi throughout the airport. Wondering if that's Google's doing
(and if it is, thanks: I'm there quite a bit)

How would Google Fiber specifically benefit people at home? One of the
things I've always dreamed of (besides super-fast downloads!), is a
virtual Government. I like to remain very active in my
community...supporting local businesses, going to farmer's markets,
attending city events (like Music in the Park...a local band playing
on the shore of Lake Superior...an awesome experience), and so-on. In
order to attend those city-sponsered events, however, the city needs
involvement from the citizens. How best to do that? The Internet.

Here's an example: town hall meetings. There's numerous reasons why
people don't go to them any more. First and foremost, who knows when
they are? Not a lot of people do. They might be posted in the
newspaper, but no one really reads that any more, do they? If the city
had the consumer base (that is, citizens) who would frequently check
their website, Facebook, or Twitter account for information on when a
town hall meeting might occur, they'll be able to attend. Get those
people connected and empower them with the information, and you might
see attendance rise. Google Fiber could connect people with their

Let's take that even a step further: why have a physical town hall
meeting? Why couldn't you broadcast that online? It's almost
effortless for someone to be seen online (look at Youtube!), so isn't
it feasible for a city to broadcast a live town hall meeting to the
citizens? Certainely if people had a fast, reliable internet
connection (like, I don't know, Google Fiber?), and the city streamed
meetings there would be more participation. For instance, the city
wants input on a new park, they'll hold a town hall on it next week,
and you can watch it online, then tweet any questions/comments to the
city Twitter account. I know I'd be on every single one of them if it
was that easy, instead of jumping in my car during one of our frigid
January days to go to a town hall meeting. Hey, it gets cold in the
Twin Ports, believe me!

Another example of connecting citizens to local Government? Voting.
Not enough people participate in local Government voting; just looking
at the recent voter turn-out we had this past week. The complaint
isn't because people don't want to vote, it's because they don't know
the issues. If everyone had a connection to the internet, there's
nothing to stop the city from providing information to the citizen so
they can make an informed vote (such as the townhall meetings I
mention above). Moving forward, canidates in elections could leverage
the internet and social media to spread their cause as well..such as
posting video updates to the voters. It worked for Mayor Don Ness of
Duluth, didn't it? He did the same thing...and he's mayor now!
Citizens would no longer have the excuse of "I don't know the issues"
as a cop-out. And then, maybe one day when all the legal hurdles are
cleared, we could even vote--security and comfortably--from our own
home? With Google Fiber, the infrastructure would be in place, and
such a dream could come true. But that's future-tense, let's talk
present-tense. Google Fiber could allow citizens to interact with
local Government more and provide their feedback. Very cool.

One last example of how Google Fiber can connect the home with the
city is simple: modernize city functions! Instead of paying your
parking ticket in-person or mailing a check, why not do it online via
the city's website? Or what about applying for a building permit for
when I re-side my house? I won't have to leave work early and go stand
in line to get a permit, when I can do it online! Sure, those
functions don't exist online yet with our city Government, but by
giving the citizens the connection with Google Fiber, those tides
could sure turn. The city Government might see the cost-savings of
having most paperwork and other public administration tasks taken

That's just one of the things I envision with Google Fiber to the
household. There's more up in my cranium. As soon as I have the time,
I'll let 'em pour out. :)

Paul Broman

Sep 16, 2010, 5:09:00 PM9/16/10
to Fiber For Communities
For me (in Duluth, MN) the real value is for our economy. Sure,
movies, gaming, and entertainment is nice but not what I would see as
a huge priority.
I am owner of a tech firm in Duluth that has to push a lot of data to
our servers in Chicago, which then deliver it to our clients. One
example of our products is that we photographed, by hand, nearly every
year/make/model of vehicle over a few years. We used hydraulic lifts
and took top views, and sent the photographs to 3D modelers in
Argentina, Spain, and Sweden. They made 3D models of these vehicles
for us. Now we have a few 'rendering machines' downtown in our office
in Duluth. When a client requests our library of images, our computers
have to render hundreds of thousands of images because they are
vehicles, colors, and we even made 3D models of the wheels that fit:
example of one of our web apps: http://carpronetwork.com/pepboys/

We do a ton of data moving. Not just images but large data libraries
containing things like fitment data. Having a Gig would rock our

I have also been researching with the Center for Economic Development
in Duluth the feasibility of starting a research company that does
very specialized for-hire research. I would base the specialization on
the most common competency of the students that leave the University
of Minnesota science programs. They are strong in Biology and computer
science, so I would have a very good pool of workers. The real hurdle
is that often results of research projects can be a GIGANTIC amount of
data. Anything from huge databases, to high resolution slides, or
video. In order to make potential clients' research available to them,
again, a Gig would ROCK. It would give ideas like this the wings to
actually get off the ground. I'm feeling confident that if we get
Gigabit speed, I would be much more likely to start a company like
this because it would be easier to find clients with the competitive
advantage of very high bandwidth. I'm sure that I'm not the only one
with plans like this.

In summary, I think it would open the door for new tech or science-
based business in Duluth. I think it would change the face of our
business ecosystem here, and encourage entrepreneurs and companies to
set up shop in Duluth. This, to me, is the whole point of getting
Google Fiber here. I was born and raised in Duluth and the people here
are genuine, hardworking, and honest. Also, for a town with our
demographics, we do very well with entrepreneurship. There is an
awesome thriving creative/arts scene here that is disproportionally
robust considering the population and demographics. Quality folks here
in Minnesota!

Also, THIS guy agrees... ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asrjkvRIEvQ


Paul Broman

On Sep 15, 1:19 pm, Google Fiber <jsof...@google.com> wrote:

Jared S

Sep 16, 2010, 5:23:15 PM9/16/10
to Fiber For Communities

I'm Jared Starkey, a software engineer from Topeka, KS.

One of the issues where our new clients are consistently unprepared is
data recovery and disaster planning.

Replication tools like RAID are great for redundancy on-site, but
require such large amounts of bandwidth that off-site replication is a
pipe dream. One of the neatest possibilities I've been looking at is
the potential to use technologies like DRBD to replicate block-level
data en masse *off site* for data recovery for individual desktop
users and small businesses, making "Internet RAID 1" an affordable
option for end users.

Along with Kasey's idea using Chromium - this could go a long way
towards ubiquitous computing platforms where your desktop is shared
across your laptop and desktop, home and office, and even mobile

-Jared Starkey

On Sep 15, 1:19 pm, Google Fiber <jsof...@google.com> wrote:

Craig Rhode

Sep 16, 2010, 8:16:03 PM9/16/10
to Fiber For Communities
Hi Jennifer,
I would like to use the high speed internet connection for the
following things,
1. I would like to create a public access type media group for
We would produce podcasts, videos, and live event coverage for the
City of Duluth and the greater outside communities. The group would
let people upload their podcasts or videos into a main media server.
We would provide on-demand, and live streaming of all the programming
we receive. It would like YouTube more on a local level. We would
give classes on how to produce, record, and upload their programs.
2. I would create a large QR code network for all the businesses and
community groups we have in this great city. The advancement of QR
codes in America is slowly growing. Smart phones are being sold with
built in QR code readers everyday, this would provide a great chance
for Duluth to show off how an interactive and fast network of QR
can help out promoting businesses, community groups, people, and
attractions in Duluth.
3. Public Access Terminals, I would use the new network to create a
system of Public Access Terminals in the city of Duluth. They would
designed to be a place where people would access "some" websites,
provide a place to charge a cell phone, provide a place to quickly
upload photos, and a place to provide Superman a changing room. ( I
kid about the last one. )
Duluth is a city ready to explode on to the world scene as a leader


Sep 16, 2010, 10:59:33 PM9/16/10
to Fiber For Communities
Hi Jennifer,

I live and work in the city of Broomfield, Colorado which is between
Boulder and Denver (but historically and geographically more connected
to Boulder).

I have done a lot of work in the past around local community
engagement with media, including many user-contributed content
products. I was also a winner of a Knight News Challenge project that
sought to help local communities share digital information in physical
space through automatically generated PDFs (it was called

I currently run a startup called "BookBrewer" with a distributed team
that all works out of home offices in the area. BookBrewer is focused
on eBook self-publishing. Because the most meaningful online community
connections are often local, we are thinking of ways to use eBooks for
sharing hyperlocal information that is available on demand -- both at
your computer, and from mobile devices even when not connected to the
Internet. We believe eBooks and content packages like it will
ultimately replace most printed materials.

Here are two very specific ways I can see 1 gig internet being used
both in my community, and with my startup.

(1) Local Multimedia Package Sharing.
Mobile products like eBooks and apps are really just multimedia
packages of information that must be shared through broadband, but
have "legs" through phones and devices (iPhone, iPad, Android tablets,
etc.) These types of packages will be getting bigger and fatter over
the years, and they will ultimately replace the physical media we
carry around and distribute in our local communities. The faster the
pipes become, the more people will share huge files without a second

I think it would be very interesting to see how photos, videos and
documents that are dragged and dropped into locally-focused folders
could be packaged as eBooks, apps and other packages that are then
used and shared in the physical world through phones and tablets. Fast
broadband would be the spark to make that happen.

(2) Kill Your Office!
Super high speed broadband has obvious benefits for businesses with
distributed teams like mine, which are becoming more and more common.
I think super-high-speed connectivity will change the concept of the
"office" and move it more and more into the cloud. Our "office" right
now consists of an always-open Skype chat, and we use Skype to share
files, share our screens for presentations and demonstrate what we're
seeing in our browsers (for development products). We also use Dropbox
in place of a network folder. We meet in person only 3 hours a day. I
think this is the future of American work.

To consider: when we did have an office, we paid $500 a month for that
space. By ditching the physical office we each pay $40 a month for
cable Internet. We're all happier and spending less money than when we
had an office, and I believe we are also more productive.

I also personally believe that distributed "offices" like this could
have a huge impact on the national carbon footprint. If just 10% of
the country stopped commuting, we could save the planet and also save
the national economy through more efficient startup.

Dan Pacheco
CEO, FeedBrewer and BookBrewer.com.


Sep 17, 2010, 11:40:24 AM9/17/10
to Fiber For Communities
Google Instant - It Goes to Eleven

I work in a small nonprofit office, which splits a residential-grade
internet connection between as many as 9 computers. It'd certainly be
a boon to us.

Ryan Walker
Ann Arbor MI


Sep 17, 2010, 12:55:14 PM9/17/10
to Fiber For Communities
Hello, I'm an eighteen-year-old student at U of M in Ann Arbor,
Michigan, and the wireless around campus is notoriously unpredictable.
I saw a student in the courtyard of my dorm with a satirical cardboard

Our infrastructure is pathetic considering how many capable
programmers lurk amongst us students. I've had trouble with Skype, our
own encrypted network, even video streaming from domestic servers! We,
the students, already appreciate Google for reviving the town's
industry after Pfizer left Ann Arbor, but if you'd install a way for
us to watch kittens on Youtube, you might earn a cult following.

Furthermore, if the professors could depend on Fiber, they could send
us videos directly, instead of the occasional janky link. Your support
would help our education and new-age social lives like nothing else.

Thanks for listening to me whine,

Noah C.

Jennifer Soffen

Sep 17, 2010, 12:57:32 PM9/17/10
to Fiber For Communities
Hi Ryan,

Wow, that sounds tough! How do you think you all would use the Gig?
What sorts of work are you doing?


Jennifer Soffen

Sep 17, 2010, 2:27:55 PM9/17/10
to Fiber For Communities
Hi Stebs,

Thanks for writing in. Gaming is certainly a popular one. We love Apps
as well.


Jennifer Soffen

Sep 17, 2010, 2:48:46 PM9/17/10
to Fiber For Communities
Hi Noah!

Thanks for chiming in. How else do you think fast Internet would help
students. Interested to learn more. Can you send some links of your


Terry G.

Sep 17, 2010, 4:38:41 PM9/17/10
to Fiber For Communities
University of Minnesota campuses, including Duluth, are in the middle
of deploying Google Apps. The University of Minnesota Duluth campus,
with 12,000 students and over 1,000 faculty and staff, is
transitioning to Google Apps which means that an enormous portion of
network traffic that is now internal (email using local University
servers) will now be directed to/from off-campus servers. Fiber lines
would greatly enhance the productivity of collaborative University

An even larger benefit of Google fiber would be enhancement of nearly
all of the research taking place in Science and Engineering programs
on the campus. University researchers are studying climate change by
remotely monitoring Lake Superior dynamics (e.g., air/sea interaction,
coastal circulation, lake thermodynamics). In Computer Science, they
are exploring problems associated with making human interaction with
virtual environments more natural and realistic. Chemical Engineering
faculty are researching chemical process modeling and simulation, with
physiochemical property measurement and estimation. Mechanical and
Industrial Engineering teams are researching sensors that non-
intrusively detect driver drowsiness though the development of
Electrocardiography (ECG) sensors on steering wheel and heart rate
variability analysis algorithms. A team led by a Department of
Electrical and Computer Engineering professor is conducting research
on techniques to improve system performance of fiber optical
communications, signal processing, wireless communications. The list
of research and fields of study that depend on high capacity data
networks for collaboration, data transfer, and communication too
extensive to list here. The bottom line is that the benefits of a
fiber network would be immeasurable and undoubtedly benefit the entire
world by producing results with greater speed, accuracy and teamwork.

Thank-you for considering the Twin Ports for this incredible

Terry G.

Sep 17, 2010, 4:55:33 PM9/17/10
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Terry G.

Sep 17, 2010, 4:49:33 PM9/17/10
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lance ahern

Sep 17, 2010, 6:52:11 PM9/17/10
to Fiber For Communities
hi Jennifer,

This is Lance from Anchorage, AK. A member of our team (Walter Orell)
has come up with a project to make use of the underutilized storage
and cycles in our homes - Distributed Cloud Computing (googifiak.com/
content/applications/cloud). This meshes well with our community
broadband wireless network plan (googifiak.com/content/applications/

Our kids would love to be able to truly interact from home with cello,
piano, and viola teachers - as well as their musical peers - around
the globe. A community broadband wireless service, based on 1GB Google
fiber, would allow them to have this access to outside resources from
anywhere within Anchorage.

thank you for helping to make this happen,


Sep 19, 2010, 2:09:39 PM9/19/10
to Fiber For Communities
In Topeka, we plan on using fiber to better improve our eDemocracy
project. Currently, the Kansas Legislature & Proplyon are working to
build an application which will give unprecedented access to democracy
as it's happening. No matter where you are in the world, you'll have
access to everything you'd possibly want to know about legislation
going through the Kansas House or Senate in real-time. You'll be able
to read the current draft of a bill, see what amendments have been
made and when they'd been made, who was on the committee introducing
the bill, how our elected officials are voting, and watch video from
the committee chambers and the testimony that was given. All of the
data will be XML-friendly so that agencies and organizations all over
the world will be able to pull it in real time. Everyday folks will be
able to get push alerts giving them updates on their bill/topic of
interest. States and small countries are watching this project with
hopes of implementing something similar in the future. All of this
will shift the paradigm of the democratic process, and allow citizens
to interact and engage with government on a level that are not
currently possible.

Adding Google Fiber to the mix will increase the speed at which the
Kansas Legislature be able to deliver this free data.

Alissa Sheley
Topeka, KS

On Sep 15, 1:19 pm, Google Fiber <jsof...@google.com> wrote:
Message has been deleted


Sep 19, 2010, 9:13:14 PM9/19/10
to Fiber For Communities
Hello everyone, please see the thread that we've created to discuss
what others (scientists, researchers, etc) could do with this
technology - especially with regard to applications in the
humanitarian, educational, and science/medical fields.


We're hoping that others would elaborate upon, debate the merits of,
or contribute to the thoughts that we have had...even if far-fetched.

Specifically, we see the opportunities for the bandwidth benefitting
the three above key areas. Within those, we have proposed some
mainstream and and some clearly out of the box ideas. Either way,
we'd enjoy hearing what others have to say, and we're confident that
somewhere here are the paths to revolutionary and beneficial

Notably, we have been in touch with David Anderson of UC Berkeley and
BOINC fame and we see distributed computing as a phenomenal
achievement. Google, Dr. Anderson is available and interested in
talking with you.

Thank you!



Sep 20, 2010, 10:09:51 AM9/20/10
to Fiber For Communities
One of the things we have been thinking a lot about in Blacksburg,
Virginia, is the ways in which fiber to the home could be used to
enhance and supplement K12 education. Last winter, the roof of the
gymnasium of our High School collapsed due to the weight of the
extraordinary snowstorms we'd had. Fortunately, no one was hurt; but
it has created a situation in which our High School students no longer
have a building for their class attendance. They have to drive more
than 20 minutes away and take classes on a skewed schedule in a
building shared with other K12 students. It is far from ideal and
will probably go on for a couple of years.

If we had fiber to the home throughout Montgomery County, we could
design and develop some very innovative ways to do K12 coursework
online, leveraging videoconferencing, streaming class lectures, and
perhaps even telepresence-type of technologies. Our students deserve
the very best and innovation is key to being able to deliver that for
K12 education. Without fiber to the home being available *and
affordable* any innovations that emerge will not be accessible to all.

Brenda van Gelder
Blacksburg, Virginia

Brandon Sheley

Sep 24, 2010, 3:03:32 PM9/24/10
to Fiber For Communities
sounds like Google fiber would be perfect for this.

Tim Couillard

Sep 24, 2010, 4:36:15 PM9/24/10
to Fiber For Communities
Here's a video example of what we can/would do with a gig.



On Sep 19, 1:09 pm, Alissa <joneshuyettpartn...@gmail.com> wrote:


Sep 29, 2010, 8:10:03 PM9/29/10
to Fiber For Communities

On Sep 19, 1:09 pm, Alissa <joneshuyettpartn...@gmail.com> wrote:

Jake Wagner

Sep 29, 2010, 8:16:37 PM9/29/10
to Fiber For Communities
As a medical student in Duluth, I would love to see Google take the
lead on telemedicine, particularly on the Range and in rural
Minnesota. Google is the perfect partner needed to forge this new
frontier in health care. By the time I begin practicing medicine in
earnest (~7 years), forward thinking communities like Duluth could
partner with private companies like Google to lay the foundations
(i.e. the hardware and software) needed so that my generation of
physicians can take on the challenge of learning do more with less,
using technology to streamline health care practices, and improve the
overall value of health care provided to under-served rural
communities. I am gladdened and excited about the prospect of Google
coming to the Twin Ports. I hope they are equally excited about what I
hope to do with their investment in our community.

Jacob Wagner
University of Minnesota
Duluth Medical School- M1

Jeff Storlie

Sep 30, 2010, 9:37:32 AM9/30/10
to Fiber For Communities
I work for the local County (St Louis) in Duluth, MN. We are creating
a county wide GIS system that would
be useful to a wide range of users. We have to limit the data-sets to
outside users knowing that they are limited
with the connection to their houses/business/governments . The idea of
having a gig connection to houses/business/governments
would free up the use of high band width aerial photos, enhanced
digital data sets and more interaction among our users by using fast,
and updated crowd sourced data possible.


Oct 4, 2010, 12:52:56 PM10/4/10
to Fiber For Communities

One thing that we noticed in Anderson, IN and for that matter around
the country is many people still see phone as one connection, cable TV
as another and Internet just rides on one of those connections. When
times get hard they drop the Internet and keep the other "essential"

If you were to ask a tech savvy person to choose between Internet,
phone or TV you would likely get the response, Internet. Most of us
know you can get voice and video simply by having an Internet
connection and enough bandwidth. That's what's great about the Google
fiber project, it raises awareness that we need more bandwidth and
that one line could eventually do it all. Our hope is that this
project will turn things upside down and help people realize that
Internet is the essential service. Hopefully with products like
Google TV and a Gig connection people will start moving their video
experience to the Internet and say goodbye to TV and voice services
they way they know them now. Wouldn't it be great to see the real
"killer" application is a change in perspective so more people could
enjoy the Net?


Oct 19, 2010, 7:26:06 PM10/19/10
to Fiber For Communities
Greetings Jennifer (and all my other friends in the world of Fiber!)

I live in Juneau, AK, and I work for the University here in town. When
the Google RFI came around I volunteered to be on our city and
borough's committee to inform the public of what exactly Gigabit fiber
really means on a person to person basis. Pretty much I went to all
the meetings, asked good questions, and sat at a booth to make certain
that someone who knows how to talk tech and just plain talk would be
present. You know how it goes when you have varied interests and high
hopes, right?

I'm one of those "idea guys" that likes to come up with ideas and
share them whenever possible. I hope that you don't mind hearing from
another IT guy. I don't have much Fiber experience, but my friends
back home released a fiber product a few years back, and it's really
nice. I tired out my mother-in-laws fiber connection when I visited
Las Vegas and the house I was staying at had it. For a nerd and a
gamer there's nothing better than fiber.

Yet I know that data compression mechanics are advancing by leaps and
bounds. I just googled up this article:


and noticed this tidbit:

"By using 64-QAM and 256-QAM digital modulation, cable system
operators can choose from maximum data rates of 27.7Mb/s or 38.8Mb/s,
respectively. With some judicious bit-rate compression, it is possible
to put 10 standard-definition HD programs, each with 2.7Mb/s data
rates, in a single 64-QAM channel. Pull out the ol' calculator, and
you'll see that two off-air HD broadcasts and a pair of SDTV programs
can be packed into a 38.8Mb/s 256-QAM payload."

That says to me that all the TV and TV-like data I would ever need
will be able to be pushed in under 100MB. That's the limit of my
Ethernet card anyway. I guess need to come up with 900Mb/s of more
cooliness, if we're implying that homes themselves will be fit with
gigabit direct connections to the next choke point. What I'm really
saying is that with common technology the everyday person may be less
inclined to notice that they are on fiber instead of cable or DSL. My
buddy (who was on dial-up) complains about the new faster data service
for connectivity and other issues that he never had on his 56k
connection (that is this year, btw). Things like still being able to
be on the internet when the cable goes out, but I digress.

So when I talk to everyday people, I find that they are almost
exclusively interested in how the existing service could be improved.
Under that idea they often only speak on the matter of cost of
service, and things that would affect the day to day when I sat at the
booth. Yet my mind and heart really listened to the more or less
simple ideas that came before me as I discussed with people how they
use data.

If we're trying to be really creative here, then we can start talking
about what needs could be met as an idle concern, I mean... faster is
cool for us gamers, but I don't think gaming is the dominant use for
the rest of the members of the community. All the little things that
could simply be done away with in an environment where fiber is run
everywhere, would also be really interesting. I can't really say what
we would entirely do away with, but the magnitude of the use of copper
may be changed, the amount of electricity should be substantially
decreased, and perhaps the cost of adding new lines may change. Heck,
I would like to see data caps go away, or become substantially larger.

Think about groups of terminals, like we find in any library, publicly
available with limited access, a timeout, and a mechanism for allowing
people to "use the internet, right quick." Wyse terminals that are
like the old telephone booths.
If we have something like terminal booths, we might as well put a
"public wifi" point right on top of it. If I'm really reaching it
could be common for people to have public wifi points in there homes,
now that they don't need to be concerned with the amount of data going
to the home.

I try not to focus on the big parts of the data throughput, because if
we're sending CT scans and the like out of town, it won't be in the
town that benefits. Though local doctor's offices could get more
immediate results from CT scans, Sonagrams, or any other digital
videography that is found to be useful produced at our towns only
hospital. I would like to see "small-time" applications, like having
an HD video call going out of your home to your local doctor 30 to 60
minutes away. I think of my elderly friends that would rather not
spend an hour round-trip driving, sit in the waiting room and patient
room, waiting for the doctor to be available, just to fulfill a
regular checkup. Of course if something needs physically to be
inspected, then definitely go on in, but if you're just going in to
talk to the doctor over a follow-up, then why not video chat from home
and have your prescriptions automatically ordered at the end of the

I like local businesses. It's always great when they prosper, but in
the internet age it's always easy to find someone who is underselling
the locals. Here in Juneau we have a pretty large shipping cost to
contend with as well. Local businesses need simple things that will
allow patrons to feel as though they are getting what they pay for
when they pay more for local, other than supporting another local
individual. Imagine if it were common to set up a list of purchases
that you want to make from home, and it was delivered directly to a
local provider. In larger cities people can do this no big deal, order
pizza online, buy products from Macy's online, contact big companies
that have stores in the big city, and have little to no trouble. If
big data is common, then every ma and pa shop could just pay for a
local service that processes remote requests, because interfacing with
the internet is what is becoming the common behavior. Maybe such a
practice would spawn other small delivery companies that help save gas
in a community (a concern anywhere that has to ship in fuel and other

I know this is barely worth mentioning, but having fiber to the home
would presumably make it easier to make use of monitorable devices.
Things like smart homes where the lights (and other electronically
monitored objects) are able to be controlled remotely. Though the
bandwidth required is small if there were 10,000 homes in a city
equipped with smart tech the whole city itself will save on power by
simply making informed decisions based on the data from your home and
guidance from the local electric company.

I believe that the fiber industry will allow us to inch towards
community data storage centers. Instead of sending data all over the
world, why not simply send your data to the local community data
center, and allow the companies to create products that benefit from
such a design. Traditionally there are 2 data centers to promote
redundancy, but perhaps as a society we will start storing a flikr
cache at our 'home' datacenter, and flikr will duplicate the data
during non-peak hours using their own personal data sto