When Google announced its plans to push fiber optic cables to 500,000 American homes in order to stimulate broadband adoption, they certainly got the attention of the International press. By announcing plans to build and test networks with speeds of up to 1 Gbps at competitive pricing, Google is aiming squarely at service providers who are sitting idle because they have no competition to fear.
The company's official blog outlines a vision of streaming 3D medical imaging from a rural health clinic to an urban specialty facility and getting a live consultation alongside. For home uses, Google paints a picture of downloading full-length HD movies in less than five minutes. Now, dozens of towns and cities across the US are splashing out on innovative stunts and media campaigns in order to convince the tech behemoth to adopt them for pilot studies.
Some are towns which have so far been overlooked or feel neglected by commercial broadband providers. Efforts have ranged from creating Facebook pages and Twitter feeds to gathering citizens in the shape of the Google logo, and at least one town in Kansas has officially renamed itself to "Google" for a month.