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. 

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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8 Comments

  1. Evanston and Google
    It’s great to see the Mayor and the City focused on the future instead of getting bogged down dealing with relatively small and inconsequential issues in this town. This is the type of innovative thinking we need to move this City forward. Exciting!

  2. This is an exciting project
    This is an exciting project to be a part of if all goes well!
    We would be among a select number of cities throughout the nation to pilot this technology.

  3. It’s nice to be able to
    It’s nice to be able to applaud a public official for working on a forward thinking project. Best of luck. This would be great for our community.

  4. Google Schmoogle
    I cant wait! You’ll be able to download an entire 2 hour movie in about 2 seconds.

    Now if we can just get Northwestern to pay their fair share of the expenses that will no-doubt be necessary to install and maintain this network of the future, I’d be 100% on board.

    1. Fair share…..whatever
      “Now if we can just get Northwestern to pay their fair share of the expenses that will no-doubt be necessary to install and maintain this network of the future, I’d be 100% on board.”

      Did you see the article, Alex?

      Google will incur the cost to build the network and will charge customers competitive rates for the service.

      So what is Northwestern’s “fair share”? Since the City is apparently paying $0.00 to build the network, and Google will charge subscribers for maintenance, my estimate of Northwestern’s “fair share” is $0.00

      Or do you expect Northwestern to pay for your internet service? I guess that would be only logical, since the “fair share” people expect NU to subsidize all other services.

      1. I think its pretty obvious he
        I think its pretty obvious he didn’t read the article. On the slim chance Evanston was to get this, it would be because of Northwestern. While I hate their sports teams I am thankful as the University could be the reason I am able to download a 1080p movie in a couple seconds.

  5. Google For Communities RFI
    This is an outstanding forward thinking opportunity which has the potential to vastly improve the climate in Evanston for virtual businesses and take advantage of emerging SaaS technologies. It should be supported aggressively. If people want to comment on Northwestern and fair share let them do it in a forum which is relevant. There is absolutely no connection between the issues….someone forgot to take their meds this morning.

  6. This is an exciting endeavor.
    This is an exciting endeavor. The ramifications of its completion are even more exciting.

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