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Evanston wants to friend Google

Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl announced today that the City of Evanston will respond to Google’s Request for Information to build ultra-high speed broadband networks in communities across America.

Google announced last week its intention to launch ultra-high speed broadband internet networks in one or more trial locations across the country.

Mayor Tisdahl has asked City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz to convene a task force of City staff and interested community members to prepare a response to Goggle’s RFI by the March 26 deadline.  This task force will hold its first meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at the Civic Center.

The proposed Google networks will deliver internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today.  Google will incur the cost to build the network and will charge customers competitive rates for the service.

That’s also about 50 times faster than the basic high-speed internet service now offered in Evanston by Comcast.

“Once the Google initiative was announced last week, residents from throughout the community contacted me urging Evanston to compete for this opportunity,” Mayor Tisdahl said.

“Evanston is a natural place for Google to locate its new broadband network. The combination of the work of Northwestern University, the concentration of small innovative high technology entrepreneurs and two world class medical facilities will allow this network to be a magnet for further business development in the community.”

“In addition, an ultra-high speed broadband network would help bring the world to the students of Evanston supporting the efforts of our excellent K-12 schools in the community.  Fiber-to-the-premise networks serve as an outstanding engine for economic development. Evanston would be an excellent place to construct such a network because we already have high tech industry and a computer savvy population equal to any in the nation,” Tisdahl concluded.

Evanston will tap the expertise of its residents, Northwestern University, Rotary International, Evanston Hospital, St. Francis Hospital, Evanston Township High School, Evanston/Skokie School District 65 and other agencies to respond to the Google RFI.

Here’s a video with a brief description of the Google plan:

For further information, go to the project’s website or email citymanagersoffice@cityofevanston.org. 

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