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What is Google doing and what does it seek to achieve?

Imagine sitting in a rural health clinic, streaming three-dimensional medical imaging over the web, and discussing a unique condition with a specialist in New York. Or downloading a high-definition, full-length feature film in less than five minutes. Or collaborating with classmates around the world while watching live 3D video of a university lecture. Universal, ultra high-speed Internet access will make all this, and more possible. They've urged the FCC to look at new, and creative ways to get there in its National Broadband Plan - and now they're announcing an experiment of their own.

Google is planning to build, and test ultra-high speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the country. They'll deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections.

As a first step, they're putting out a Request for Information (RFI) to help identify interested communities. They welcome responses from local government, as well as members of the public from now until March 26th.

Their goal is to experiment with new ways to help make Internet access better, and faster for everyone. Here are some specific things that they have in mind:

  • Next generation apps: They want to see what developers and users can do with ultra high-speeds, whether it's creating new bandwidth-intensive "killer apps" and services, or other uses we can't yet imagine.
  • New deployment techniques: They'll test new ways to build fiber networks; to help inform, and support deployments elsewhere, they'll share key lessons learned with the world.
  • Openness and choice: They'll operate an "open access" network, giving users the choice of multiple service providers. And consistent with their past advocacy, they'll manage their network in an open, non-discriminatory, and transparent way.

We have until March 26 to get our nominations in and prove to Google that Columbia is worthy of their ultra-high speed broadband network, and here's how you can help:

1. Submit a nomination:

2. Become a fan on Facebook and invite your friends:

3. Encourage local government officials and neighborhood associations to submit RFIs:

4. Post "Google Columbia, SC" to your social media statuses on March 22, as part of our viral campaign:

5. Create a YouTube video telling Google why they should bring Google Fiber to Columbia, SC using the tagline "Famously Hot. Surprisingly Fast." Submit it with your nomination and upload it to our YouTube group.