Downers for the Google high


Not to burst Google initiative bubble here in Duluth… but did anyone see the article in the Wall Street Journal this month about the Internet search giant’s plans?

With the headline “Tough Road for Google’s Network,” it paints a less-than-rosy picture ahead as noted in the sub-head: “Plan to Build High Speed Internet Faces Infrastructure Hurdles, Lack of Content.”

According to the story, the super fast network Google plans to create in select communities, will be expensive to build, time-consuming and will require digging up roads. And that requires getting lots of right of ways.

To build it, Google would partner with a contractor. First, fiber-optic cable must be connected to individual homes and special electronics installed to handle the data at 1 gigabit per second. From the houses, the fiber would be connected to larger cables that would run through the neighborhoods, according to the Journal.
No mention of the cost to set up such a system in a community the size of Duluth-Superior, but for a city of 500,000, the estimated cost is $1 billion or more.

Oh, but there’s more.

Even with an ultrahigh-speed internet network, there’s currently little content for it. Moreover, since internet traffic passes through several networks to get to its destination, it can only travel as fast as the the slowest link. So downloading videos or other content will be as fast as the slowest network along the way, the Journal said.

11 thoughts on “Downers for the Google high

  1. The content doesn’t exist for yet because no has networks this fast! Why would anybody invest money in ultra high quality content if nobody could view it properly. The whole point of this project for Google is to kick other ISPs into gear and show that it can be done.

  2. Please stop reporting the facts. The people of Duluth prefer the “fluff.” It makes us feel much better!

    Thank you

  3. I’m guess the Creative Class of Duluth already knows about these negatives, but we’ll get it jammed down our throats anyway. Kind of the way of the world these days.

  4. This Google craze and the ammount of energy put into it is kind of alarming. In a city that is so resistent to change, and so seeminly unwilling to bring in improvements, this sudden push for Google seems out of place. Why isn’t this energy being put into things that could actually benefit the city as opposed to what seems to be a hunch on Googles part? It just seems like such a fad, something that probably will be out of the news by next week never to be heard of again. I appluad everyones efforts, but lets focus on things that will really benefit this city.

  5. You know, try as I might, I have yet to understand what exactly “Bringing Google to Duluth” means. So, basically if it “comes” to duluth, you have to pay to have these cables put in, then pay for a computer that can handle such a high speed? So instead of paying for necessities, this is basically a way for Duluthians to blow their money on a internet connection that will allow them to upload crap faster. Yeah that doesn’t seem like a bright idea. Remember these are the same Duluthians who balked at having to pay to have their sewer replaced and say they cannot afford to fix their houses or clean up the junkyards in their yards or whatever else it is they whine they cannot afford. Also one more thing for those sucking up the “free” money (MY TAXDOLLARS!!) to blow their money and time on instead of getting off their butts and getting a real job. What a waste of time and energy, there is more to life than having the “fastest” internet.

  6. Just wait until Google asks the City to pitch in $30 million. Don’t think that our taxes won’t go up. Google is out for one thing here…making money. The more that people use their network the more behavioral targeting that they can serve. Big Brother isn’t the telephone company anymore. It’s Google.

  7. I guess then the ONLY thing to do is stop trying to make improvements. Makes perfect sense.

  8. The part about having to dig up roads to put in fiber optic wire is not correct. Google would be able to use the telephone poles in Duluth to put in the wire. From what I understand and from what Mayor Ness has said, both Minnesota Power (who owns 75% of the poles in town) and Qwest (who own the other 25%) are already on board with this.

  9. This isn’t news. It is a fact that eventually, the Internet will increase to the speeds talked about by Google. Yes, it will take a while, but it has to start somewhere. Why would we not want it to be Duluth? In order to have a need for faster Internet, there needs to be content and applications that demand these speeds. Having Google invest in ultra-high speed Internet won’t just mean we will have fast Internet. It will mean there will be MANY companies that will look to either move or start up in the area, so they can work on building applications for the future. All of these companies will bring high paying jobs that will be working on cutting-edge technologies. However, if I was Google, I would stay far away from Duluth. No matter how much they would do, people in the area would complain about something in every step of the way.

  10. LOL at RS – I know what you mean – I’m not quite sure what ‘bringing Google to Duluth’ actually means either. One thing I overheard the other day though, and I admit I am not very well up to speed on the whole fiber optic thing myself, but if I heard right, wasn’t there a huge fiber optic project done in Duluth in the 1970’s or 1980’s? Does anyone remember anything about that? I tried looking that up and couldn’t find anything; I’m not sure if that was something that UMD was doing or if that was something that was common at the time. Either way, I don’t know if that would apply to our interent connections 35 years later…but interesting if we already had the infastructure in place.

  11. But more importantly, why hasn’t someone come up with a name for it? That’s always the first thing to do in this town. Skip over the deatils/facts. But a name, then it’s your baby.

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