Village hopes to attract Google network
New Albany officials are putting gimmicks aside and hoping the village's profile will help it become the next Google community.
Unlike Topeka, Kan., whose mayor issued a proclamation in early March to rename the city "Google," the village asked council to approve a resolution March 23 to move forward with its application to be one of the select U.S. communities to pilot the company's high-speed broadband network.
The village officially submitted its application last week.
"We're planning to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the United States," Google's Web site states. "We'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. We plan to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people."
Jennifer Chrysler, village community development director, said she thinks New Albany is the type of community Google is looking for.
"I think we are a smaller community, so we are on a more manageable scale," she said.
New Albany's existing fiber-optics network, BlueAlbany, also could help the village's application, she said.
BlueAlbany is a redundant fiber network that allows both small and large companies to use the high-speed system. The network also is used by the New Albany-Plain Local School District.
"What we are able to do with BlueAlbany is fantastic," Chrysler said. "With the increased connectivity, it is just going to take our current information further."
As an example of how the network could help the community, Chrysler said, doctors could see patients via video conferences rather than being restricted to office visits.
Though other central Ohio communities have applied to be one of the Google communities --Dublin, Delaware, Westerville and local incubator TechColumbus -- Chrysler said she thinks New Albany has a good chance to be selected.
"I think our chances are as good as every other community, if not better," Chrysler said. "New Albany is just a unique place. Even last year, in the middle of one of the worst recessions in history, 750 jobs were created (in the business campus)."
Village administrator Joe Stefanov said Google's network could help New Albany, its residents and its businesses in a number of ways.
Many New Albany residents work from home, he said, and the Google high-speed system could help them do business more efficiently.
"I believe we could provide a great opportunity É to people," Stefanov said. "That gives us a leg up."
Chrysler said she hopes council's resolution will show Google how much New Albany wants to be one of the high-speed communities.
"They also ask you to show community support, and communities across the country are doing crazy things," she said. "We think that a resolution should suffice."