First, OneCommunity announced its gigabit broadband rollout to the 25000 homes and now Google has announced a pilot project for one or a set of gigabit regional networks in the US.
This is an historic moment.
Ever since a number of us started "thinking Gig" in the early 2000s (after some nagging from the White House's Tom Kalil), it has been a uphill battle to capture the imagination of politicians, businesses and consumers. While we see other countries racing past the US to offer gigabit broadband for US$50 monthly, the US politicians and corporations continue to focus their work on 1990s broadband capabilities.
Mark Ansboury from the Knight Center for Technical Excellence operated by OneCommunity has wisely said, "To quote the “Great One,” Wayne Gretzky, you should “go to where the puck’s going, not where it is.”" Both projects create the opportunity to change the conversation: to explore where our country should head and to prove that the deterrents to deploying affordable one gigabit broadband to every home, school and business are not technical, but political and administrative.
FirstMile.US congratulates OneCommunity and Google for their vision. With any luck and some really hard work, FirstMile.US's vision of Big Broadband Everywhere can happen in the US.
OneCommunity in Ohio is expanding its community-centered broadband activities in a powerful way through the enthusiastic cooperation of many diverse organizations. They have spent many years overcoming the typical corporate and political objections that stop big broadband deployment.
Google's actions create the opportunity to get people to recognize that big broadband is what we should aspire to, NOW. Their goal to create open communications infrastructure in a local environment with strong local leadership and support is exactly the prescription for a big broadband everywhere in the US, the exact mix that OneCommunity has perfected over the years.
All of us should stop and rethink our definition of big broadband and embrace "Go Big. Go Gig."
Yes, we can!