Friday, July 27, 2012

Google Fiber may very well be the reason you learn your neighbor's last name

Getting Google may tear down some fences.

Posted By on Fri, Jul 27, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Football and rainbow bunnies, two of our favorites here in the Midwest.
  • Google
  • Football and rainbow bunnies, two of our favorites here in the Midwest.
As we work toward changing this blog from Plog to the all-Google-Fiber-all-the-time blog (it'll be awhile because Google Fiber won't be here until at least September, and the service actually has its own blog), I figured why not keep a good thing going. Ben Palosaari extensively covered the launch of the service yesterday with a breakdown of the event itself and the services that Google intends to offer, which neighborhoods (Google calls them "fiberhoods") have already prequalified and the lengths that Zaarly's Bo Fishback is willing to go to get Google Fiber. But the big takeaway from the last 24 hours is that Google might just bring together neighborhoods together in real life.

The biggest criticism of our increasingly technical world is that social media, information overload and our inability to unplug is gradually destroying our ability to be civil. In designing a marketing and sales scheme that is dependent on the people in your own neighborhood for whether you can access a product, Google has made it so that a given part of the city has to band together to increase their bandwidth.

Trying to get a critical mass of your neighbors to participate in a home-association event is like saying the Spin Doctors are going to sell out the Sprint Center; it's not happening. But convincing 10 percent to sign up alongside you for super-fast Internet....well, you might actually start talking to the guy who lives next to you. That's where Google has us because, as Milo Medin (the VP managing the Google Fiber project) explained, this isn't just about doing awesome stuff; it's about doing awesome stuff together.

And that may be the very genius of Google Fiber. You don't get access unless you accept the view from Mountain View that this isn't just the Internet. It's the future.

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