The last time I visited the Sandâ€™s Casino, I took a good look around: You could tell some people were simply out for an eveningâ€™s entertainment, but others looked down on their luck and desperate. If they could just hit the jackpotâ€¦their life would change.
Allentown has a chance to hit the technology jackpot. The odds are high; Iâ€™ve heard that cities like Denver, CO, and Raleigh, NC are also in the game, but maybe good planning a little bit of luck will be on our side.
Applying for what, you ask? To be the winner of the Google Fiber RFI. According to their website, â€œGoogle is planning to build, and test ultra-high speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the country. 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.
And oh yes, theyâ€™ll do that build out for free, just like they did in Mountain View, CA, where their headquarters are located.
The site goes on to sayâ€¦
Our goal is to experiment with new ways to help make Internet access better, and faster for everyone. Here are some specific things that we have in mind:
- Next generation apps: We want to see what developers and users can do with ultra high-speeds, whether it’s creating new bandwidth-intensive "killer apps" and services, or other uses we can’t yet imagine.
- New deployment techniques: We’ll test new ways to build fiber networks; to help inform, and support deployments elsewhere, we’ll share key lessons learned with the world.
- Openness and choice: We’ll operate an "open access" network, giving users the choice of multiple service providers. And consistent with our past advocacy, we’ll manage our network in an open, non-discriminatory, and transparent way.
By the time youâ€™re finished reading this post, if youâ€™re not excited about the potential of what the Google Fiber RFI could mean to Allentown and the number of jobs it could create, youâ€™re either not paying attention or you still use pay phones and fax machines.
But be not afraid, there is actually some real leadership being shown on this issue by City Councilman Michael Schlossberg and the Allentown Economic Development Corp. whose Asst. Director, Matt Tuerk is leading the charge to finish the RFI by the March 26 deadline.
My sources tell me that everyone is coming to the table to make this happen, from the healthcare networks to major corporations and the arts community. I was pleased to have also been asked for my input, which I gave, gladly.
It sure is Allentownâ€™s turn for a win. Maybe lady luck will be on our side for this spin of the wheel. Of course, sometimes, you make your own luck.