PTC wants Google high speed Internet trial

Mon, 02/15/2010 - 2:25pm
By: John Munford

Citizens asked to nominate city, county for trial

Peachtree City officials are hoping to attract the attention of technology giant Google, which is seeking test sites for a super high-speed Internet network.

The city is asking residents and local governments to express their interest in the fiber optic trial, which would provide Internet access to homes with speeds up to one gigabit per second.

Google says such speeds are more than 100 times faster than what most Americans currently have access to. The service would not be free but would be offered “at a competitive price” to at least 50,000 people and potentially up to 500,000 people, according to Google.

Citizens and businesses are being asked to help nominate both the city and Fayette County to host the trial network. Click HERE to view the online recommendation form and questionnaire.

City officials are asking interested persons to not only fill out the online form but also to help spread the word to friends and acquaintances.

The city has until March 26 to provide its information to Google so it can be considered as a possible site for the high-speed Internet project.

The company says its goal for the project is to experiment with new ways to help make Internet access better and faster for everyone. Google is also hoping to kick-start development for new applications that would use such high speed Internet access.

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Submitted by jevank on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 4:46pm.

I've got to say, the people at Google are geniuses. They have cities begging them to come in! Why stand in front of a city council and ask to start up in our city, when all they have to do is pretend not to care?

Could you imagine any other company doing the same thing? How about "Plastic surgeon seeks city to try out experimental nose jobs. The service would not be free but would be offered 'at a competitive price' to at least 50,000 people and potentially up to 500,000 people, according to Dr. Tryhard."

Okay, maybe that's a stretch, but can you imagine any other business getting away with this? Who do we complain to when things go wrong? I imagine a contract stating that Google is not responsible for anything will have to be signed.

Well, to the people who always want what they are told they can't have, go for it.

Submitted by AtHomeGym on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 5:50pm.

In my view, you only have to answer one question: Are you not satisfied with your current ISP and what it does for you? If not, then maybe you want something bigger, better & faster. And more costly. Knock yourself out-just remember it's YOUR bank account!

PTC_New_Native's picture
Submitted by PTC_New_Native on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 11:35am.

Wake up and smell the coffee. All internet providers keep records of our browsing and download history. How do you think the RIAA went after all those people with illegal downloads? Face it, you are monitored. Get over it. If you do something stupid on the internet, you have left a fingerprint. They do keep track of your address and history over time to pinpoint what you did and when. For the most part, I do not have an issue with this (phone records are kept by telcos’). It is how the information is used. If you really think that as a “Layman” you can “Surf” the web unnoticed and anonymously, you are ignorant. Google is a good company with some of the greatest minds on the planet. If they can figure out, based on a preponderance of the data to improve performance, they will.

The More I learn, the Less I know

Submitted by Spyglass on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 12:16pm.

sale at Kroger. Yeah, I know it's aluminum foil. Smiling

But be sure to use CASH and don't use a Kroger Card.

PhilPTC's picture
Submitted by PhilPTC on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 8:40am.

Yes, please. This technology is going to come sooner or later, why not have it sooner?

I believe the culmination of much faster internet is so we can wire our homes completely. Streaming of all types of media to multiple devices, simultaneously. Live Football in the living room, YouTube Emeril in the kitchen, online gaming in the den, The Princess and the Frog streaming in the bedroom, etc. etc.

In this economy, I'd be surprised if Google or their allies would attempt to charge more than what people are paying right now for 5-10mb/s download speeds. Not sure if enough people are geared up to even utilize 1 Gig/sec, but I can just about guarantee that if more speed is available, people will fill the vacuum to take advantage of it ASAP.

As far as the comment about Big Brother watching: they already are, all the time, mostly for marketing reasons that were already mentioned.

Hello new internet!

Submitted by jackyldo on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 7:00am.

You can get various prices on AT+T Ultra from $19.99 to $49.99 depending on what day of the week you get it, if you bundle it,,,etc..

If you have a plan to offer a city any city, throw out a price for the service say $35.00 per household and you'll have people clamoring for it.

I can picture the plan of 1 gig speeds and then getting the reality since is 10 times faster, it will be 2 to 3 times more expensive than current services.

Steve Brown's picture
Submitted by Steve Brown on Mon, 02/15/2010 - 9:22pm.

This would be one of the best things to happen to Peachtree City. Google would give us a technological edge and Comcast would finally get some competition.

However, be aware that Comcast is a Fayette Chamber of Commerce favorite, so do not expect the chamber's help on this one. What's good for the chamber is not necessarily good for the citizens.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 2:29am.

Not only does Google require us to 'register' in oder to apply for this honor, they fail to disclose the little fact that they will be tracking 'Internet usage' as part of their study.

Please try and read/understand the 'fine print' before you sign on the dotted line. If only those that got foreclosed on understood.

Submitted by Spyglass on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 12:19pm.

if you're using the internet, you can be tracked. I don't care if you are using google, yahoo, crazyhoo, anywho...whatever.

Evil Elvis's picture
Submitted by Evil Elvis on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 12:12pm.

Your current ISP requires you to "register" for their services, too.

And they log your usage.

This has been known since Cubby v. Compuserve, circa 1991.

Submitted by idk_revisited on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 6:17am.

So are you for a faster Internet?

How is "registering" and "tracking usage" any different than the monitoring that ISPs, Google, other search engines and other services on the Internet already do? Absolutely they're going to be tracking usage on this; it's how they'll be able to build applications and monitor effectiveness.

I guess a little paranoia is healthy, but I think that the benefits of testing a faster internet outweigh the "doom and gloom" that can come with any progress.

Does the government monitor us? Do private companies monitor us to sell us things and make money? Sure they do....I guess if you're not doing anything wrong, it shouldn't matter who's looking at it.

But that is contrary to the mindset of our perceived "freedoms", so I'm sure that there will be several who will jump on the "stay outta my house" mindset. Their loss. I'm for a faster Internet.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Wed, 02/17/2010 - 11:07pm.

I'm one of the lucky ones in that I have both a dedicated HS connection and a regular broadband connection. My work pays for the HS and I switch between them depending on what I’m doing.

I'm not picking on Google per say but they're not the angles some would have you believe.

Yes, they are one of the best, as far as a dedicated team of vary smart coders/innovators, but they too make some really dumb mistakes that can cost you.

Goodbye, Google Buzz
“It's tough to avoid all the buzz over Google Buzz these days. Since introducing the new social networking tool last week, Google has come under fire for everything from privacy concerns to feelings of information overload.“

More Google Privacy Concerns Reported
“Expressed concerns include the fact that privacy of your contacts are greatly put at risk, by default and often without the user knowing according to the article.”

“DoubleClick is often linked with the controversy over spyware because browser HTTP cookies are set to track users as they travel from website to website and record what commercial advertisements they view and select while browsing.[6] DoubleClick is considered to be malware by several commercial organizations (Adaware, Symantec, Spybot) which detect it and provide the tools to block/remove it.“

Google owns “Doubleclick”.

Google google privacy concerns for some interesting reading.

Google Maps mobile was monitoring users' GPS location without letting them know about it
“Apparently Google has been monitoring and storing the exact GPS location of millions of users (including me) that were using Google Maps.

The article goes on by saying that this location was recorded "secretly". Right after this article was published, Mr Barry Schnitt, Google's spokesperson contacted the author of this article to make him publish the following correction.

"UPDATE: Barry Schnitt, of Google’s PR department, wrote with some clarifications. The service, he said, is in beta and the accuracy will improve as it is used. He took issue with the word “secretly” about how Google gathers the GPS data because such use is disclosed in the privacy policy of the service."

So I went and looked at the Privacy policy that was in the version of Google maps that I was using and that was monitoring and storing my GPS data without me knowing it. Here's what the Privacy policy says in the section "Information we collect".

“The downloadable application includes a unique identifying number that enables us to return proper results and offer reliable service to you. In addition to this unique identifying number, Google’s servers automatically record certain standard log information, including the URL, IP address, carrier gateway information, along with the date, time and content of your request.”

No mention of the GPS data that they were collecting. Here are the screen captures.“

All I’m saying is go into this with your eyes ‘WIDE OPEN’ and not just because you may get a faster internet connection.

What most people don’t realize is the fact that your internet browsing may or may not run faster just because you have a faster connection to your house.

Several major web sites ‘throttle’ their output so that their own servers/routers aren’t over burdened. Sites like MSNBC, HULU, YouTube and I think Facebook and MySpace won’t work at those high data-bit rates. So unless you plan on using Google exclusively, you may not get the web experience you think. Hell, I’m not sure Google can handle it yet for more than a few thousand concurrent users.

For the few true Geeks here, Google ‘throttling output, web’. (EXTREAMLY DRY READING for those that do and don’t write web based code)

Submitted by idk_revisited on Wed, 02/17/2010 - 11:26pm.

Remember what we could do with dial-up?
Now, remember what MORE we could do with DSL?
And now, remember how much MORE we could do with Cable Modems?

It's not just web browsing - it's the speed of the network. Being able to push more data in the pipe faster means the U-Verse connection that's "alright" today with 2 HD streams becomes 10 HD streams. The Comcast 100's of channels of HD become ALL channels delivered in HD. It brings the 3D versions of ESPN that are "cutting edge" all the closer to everyday.

It's the police department that can stream videos from their vehicles directly to the 911 center. It's the hospital being able to get MRI imagery delivered instantly after it is done, speeding decision making.

It's delivering applications we haven't even thought of yet.

Storage is cheap - what limits us is bandwidth.

It also allows Google to prove it can be done (or maybe not?) quickly and cost-effectively, changing the game for other telcos, internet providers, etc.

It's testing the jet engine at Kitty Hawk, if you follow my logic Smiling

So...are Google angels? No - they're a business. Privacy concerns are only as important as the will of the people - what do they want more?

The real problem with technology is the responsible use of it all. The user should be able to turn off their GPS, but if they're using it (and talking to the satellites that were put up by others), sometimes having information about how things are used is a part of doing business.

We have very little anonymity. Philosophically, is that something we want, or do we want to improve the way other things get done in our lives?

If it sounds socialistic, egads, it might be...because in the end, what we as individuals want becomes what we the community wants, which leads to sharing resources and trade-offs just like this.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Fri, 02/19/2010 - 12:38am.

I come from the old 'Ring & Tip', (red and green) technology.

Yes I remember when a 300 baud acoustic coupler was 'top of the line' tech. of the day.

Google’s Orwell Moment

If 'Newsweek' backs up what I've said, then I don't feel so bad.

P.S. It's not that Google was trying to pull something over on it's users. It's the fact that most users don't have a clue as to whats really at stake.

You stated a profound thought, "Privacy concerns are only as important as the will of the people - what do they want more?"

You were absolutely correct in that statement.

The problem is that most people don't look past the issue of a faster internet connection, and that's why they are refereed to as 'sheeple' by those of us that do.

SPQR's picture
Submitted by SPQR on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 9:47am.

your premise "Does the government monitor us? Do private companies monitor us to sell us things and make money? Sure they do....I guess if you're not doing anything wrong, it shouldn't matter who's looking at it." It seems to me this is a naive conclusion and one that bears some second thoughts.

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 10:21am.

Americans took a deep snooze when warrantless wiretapping was exposed and all the other nasties of the Bush Admin were brought into the light. Obama promptly decided that immunity to all the telcos for breaking their own contracts over and over and over with subscribers was the way to go also. Both Bush and Obama agree that they know what is best for everyone because what they perceive national security to be trumps anything else, especially those "picky details" like obtaining redress under the law for someone breaking a legal contract with you. Congress loves the excesses and sometimes blatant stupidity of the Patriot Act and Homeland Security because they can't be seen as "soft" on terrorism.

People don't give a damn about companies or the government tracking internet usage already. Google knows people aren't all that concerned to begin with and aren't trying to do anything revolutionary in any event. Zzzzzzz.

matt.barnes's picture
Submitted by matt.barnes on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 10:07am.

The question to ask here is not whether or not Google will monitor our usage but How are they going to monitor usage. Our current ISP's already do that and regardless of how you feel on the subject what will Google do differently? How will Google invade our privacy any deeper than we already allow?

Submitted by mthom5436 on Mon, 02/15/2010 - 6:49pm.

If this does come to our city does that mean there will be a bunch of guys running around town digging holes in our front yards?

Submitted by mthom5436 on Mon, 02/15/2010 - 6:49pm.


Submitted by idk_revisited on Mon, 02/15/2010 - 6:10pm.

I think the link that is in the article might be confusing, as I went to it from the article and just got a "Google sign-in" screen. gives more information.

Can you tell I'm really excited about this?

Submitted by ptcjenn on Mon, 02/15/2010 - 6:38pm.

I have a Google account, logged in and voted for PTC...I would LOVE that here! I'm guessing they ask you to log in so that nobody can just flood the server with a million votes. One vote per account?
Anyway, I voted for PTC, and I'm hoping a lot of others do, too!

opustv's picture
Submitted by opustv on Mon, 02/15/2010 - 4:17pm.

This from a city that blocks cell phone towers, municipal wifi, sat repeaters and has a high school that won't allow students to carry laptop computers to class. Too funny.

Submitted by idk_revisited on Mon, 02/15/2010 - 5:44pm.

So does that mean you're not interested in the faster internet?

"a city that blocks cell phone towers" - since when? I thought it was the citizens griping about towers, not the City.

Municipal wifi - been to Kedron lately? The wifi works great up there

Satellite Repeaters - can you give us an example?

High School that won't allow students to carry laptops to class - I don't know that, since I don't have kids in school anymore, but maybe if the little rugrats weren't using them to sext each other or update their facebook, it would make sense. Then again, maybe its so people don't get beat up for carrying one around (that's an expensive little toy).

So, are you just a naysayer, or would you be interested? I think the article is saying they want citizens to let Google know if there is an interest....

Submitted by Spyglass on Mon, 02/15/2010 - 6:34pm.

I can use my laptop all around the lake, due to the free WiFi that our fair City called him out, and he's gone silent....but that's typical for a blogger on here.

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