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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

Topic: fiber optic

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November 14, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Seattle broadband network floated again, sort of

Seven years after it began pursuing a city broadband network, Seattle’s trying again. Sort of. Mayor Mike McGinn and other dignitaries will announce a new, smaller effort Monday morning in South Lake Union. The plan is to offer city infrastructure to lure phone or cable companies willing to build ultrafast broadband in one or two…

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February 11, 2010 at 4:36 PM

Seattle applying for Google broadband project

Mayor Mike McGinn just announced that Seattle will indeed ask Google to pursue one of its fiber-optic broadband experiments in the city.

From the release:

Seattle will actively seek to partner with Google in creation of a fiber network here. The city itself has many assets to bring to the partnership, including an extensive existing fiber network of over 500 miles connecting every school, college and major government building in the city.

Seattle has been hashing over ways to entice companies to extend fiber broadband service to homes in the city for years and McGinn pledged to pursue citywide broadband.

Google on Wednesday announced that it wanted to partner with municipalities to develop and experiment with an ultrafast fiber network. Its experiment would reach a total of 5,000 to 500,000 people across the country.

If Seattle were to beat out cities across the country vying to partner with Google, the experiment would only provide service to fraction of the city. It’s also unclear how long Google would continue the experiment and what it would cost, however the service would not be free to users.

Bill Schrier, the city’s chief technology officer, called it a “longshot” but said it’s worth trying.

“It seems logical to respond to that anyway because Seattle is an innovative place, we’ve got a lot of asets we could bring to a partnership with Google,” he said.

Cities have until March 26 to submit a “request for information” to Google, which will respond later this year.

Schrier said pursuing the Google experiment won’t delay Seattle’s effort to build a city-wide fiber network that provides everyone with fast service because the city’s in the process of developing a plan for that project.

“It won’t delay us because we’re building a business plan anyway,” he said.

A statement issued by McGinn’s office this afternoon reads like a preview of Seattle’s application. After a few paragraphs saying Seattle’s interested in the Google project, the statement lists city assets including its municipal fiber network and its “high tech industry and population”:

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