On March 24 the City of Evanston and several of its community partners gave a public presentation streamed live on-line as to why Evanston would be an excellent fit for Google’s trial launch of ultra-high speed broadband internet. Video presentations from the City, Northwestern University, Evanston NorthShore Hospital, and Evanston School Districts highlighted in detail Evanston’s desire to have the entire City wired to high-speed internet.
“This presentation was indeed a community collaboration to state our case to Google from Evanston, the ‘Most Livable City in the America,’ along with world renowned Northwestern University, one of the nation’s leading high schools – Evanston Township High School, one of the nation’s leading high schools, an award-winning K-8 District 65 school system, nationally top ranked Evanston NorthShore Hospital, a vibrant business community and eagerly engaged residents,” explained Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. “Today was Google Day in Evanston and the collective work of the community was shared with the public in the hopes that we might be selected by Google for their ultra-high speed network.”
Mayor Tisdahl declared this day “Google Day” culminating in volunteers handing out Google flyers to commuters at El and Metra stops and Evanston Township High School students handing out over 3,000 fliers to the community encouraging them to nominate on-line Evanston as a Google Community. Additionally, the business community rallied in support of the City’s efforts by offering numerous Google Day Specials including a “Google Head Buzz” iced coffee drink at Unicorn Café, and a buy one, get-one free Google Android phone at T-Mobile.
In February, Google announced that it was looking for communities with populations of 50,000 to 500,000 to respond to their Request for Information (RFI) to build ultra-high speed broadband networks in one or more trial communities across America. The networks will deliver internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today.
“Once the Google initiative was announced, 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.”
Google’s vision of a fiber-to-the-home network with open access fits well with Evanston’s focus on making the Evanston the “Most Livable City in the America.” The City convened a task force of City staff and interested community members to prepare a response to Goggle’s RFI by the March 26, 2010 deadline. This task force held meeting after meeting collecting all the necessary data and support for the City’s bid.
“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 tapped the expertise of its residents, Northwestern University, Rotary International, Evanston NorthShore Hospital, Evanston Township High School, Evanston/Skokie School District 65, the Evanston Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Evanston, and more than 100 residents who volunteered their time to respond to the Google RFI.
Google Day videos: ECMC/Why Google Should Choose Evanston, Northwestern University, Evanston Township High School, School District 65, Evanston NorthShore Hospital and Google Us! here on Evanston’s YouTube Channel…