Google Fiber for Communities is Google's upcoming experimental introduction of ultra high speed internet. They plan to offer connection speeds of 1 Gigabit per second to a handful of communities around the country. That's over 100 times faster than our current "high speed" options in Davis! If you're interested in helping to make Davis be one of these lucky communities, then you're in the right place. Community leaders are already working on their half of the nomination process and now it's time for us community members to do our part. We need to act quickly because the March 26th deadline is coming up on Friday! Please direct your friends to the nomination page (see below) and help them to nominate Davis. Davis Community Network also has more information.

Nominate Davis Today! The deadline for nominations TODAY!

Have other ideas? Want to pitch in? If you want to do even more to help, then join in the effort at the group discussion page here on the wiki!

Kansas City Wins

On April 30th, 2011, Google announced that Kansas City, Kansas City had won the contest. Google will apparently be expanding the project to other cities in the future.

How we did

Google received > 1100 community responses (RFPs from governments) and > 194,000 responses from individuals. Of those, there are only a few cities in the country that had more than 1000 responses in the community. See this page. Large dots on the map show communities that submitted > 1000 responses. Davis appears to be one of those few, and has a much smaller population than most of the others. Congratulations, Davis!

On October 21st, 2010, it was announced that Google will first test their fiber network near Stanford University. "Initially the new fiber network will serve 850 faculty- and staff-owned homes on campus. Product manager James Kelly said Google will learn from the small deployment how to scale the Google Fiber program effectively for larger communities. The goal is to provide fiber connections to between 50,000 and a half-million people. Communities will be selected before the end of the year. Kelly said Stanford was selected because of its openness to experimenting with new fiber technologies, the neighborhood's layout and the small number of homes. The location just a few miles away from Google will also make it easier for engineers to monitor progress."

How this benefits YOU

Remember when everyone connected to the Internet using slow dial-up modems? Web pages downloaded very slowly. Downloading a single program could take hours. Most applications that we run today, such as networked games, high definition video, and audio streams were simply not feasible back then. The typical network connection today is about 35-70 times faster than dial-up. Now imagine a connection 200 times faster than what you have now. New applications that are simply not feasible now will become part of the everyday world. New types of businesses will develop around the network as well. This is the future, sooner.

Ways to Get Involved

Here are some things that you can do to help.

  • Attend the Organizing Meeting on March 3rd, 2010 6-8pm in Community Chambers @ 5th and B St. Find the agenda on the group discussion page
  • Nominate Davis: The most important thing that you can do is to let Google know how many people in Davis are interested in this by going to their site and Nominating Davis! They support creative submissions, so if you're the creative type then making a video, song, or image and linking to it in your nomination would get it noticed. Also, feel free to link to it on this page to share with everyone else.
  • Join the facebook group to help spread the word and show your interest.
  • Tell your friends. The more people that hear about this and submit nominations, the better!
  • Either edit this page or add comments if you have any good ideas to add; this is a community effort!
  • For instructions on how to nominate Davis, go to Google Fiber for Communities/Instructions

Reasons Why Davis is an Ideal Candidate

This might give you a starting point for when you submit your nomination (there's a question which asks "Why should Google build a fiber to the home network where you live?").

  • Davis has already done a great job of utilizing the internet in creative ways. Davis Wiki has been called the world's best local wiki for obvious reasons and the Davis Community Network has been dedicated to using Internet resources to build local and regional community for 17 years. Google explicitly states that they're interested in seeing what sort of creative ways communities can come up with to take advantage of higher speed internet access. We have a great track record which will only get better if Google decided to bring ultra high speed internet to Davis. We also have a UC system research university with many people who could develop applications that would take advantage of the fast connection.
  • We're creative in other ways too! Davis has a reputation for creativity and this certainly the sort of thing that Google is looking for. We have a history of innovation and community betterment that goes far beyond Davis Wiki. Another clear instance of this is our pioneering introduction of bike lanes and bike lights which have served as an example for cities around the world for many years. We have artists who could explore sharing media in new and exciting ways with higher speed internet and we have more scientific types who can experiment with new internet technologies and start ups in their own way.
  • Davis is the perfect size for what Google is looking for. Although other cities like Seattle and St Louis are also making bids for this internet access, but they're much larger than what Google is looking for. They say that they would like to offer it to several communities and to a total of somewhere between 50,000 and 500,000 people. With a population of roughly 65,000 people Davis sits at just about the right size to be one of the several trial communities.
  • Davis has a tech savvy and educated population that would be particularly well suited to take advantage of this opportunity. In 2006 Davis was ranked the second most educated city in the United States by CNN Money Magazine.
  • Low competition and poor service in the current Davis market, coupled with an educated and internet savvy population provides a large base interested in trying new options.
  • Davis is an easy day trip away from Google's main campus by mass transit train or highway, allowing Google researchers to easily observe the changes locally as the project progresses.
  • Davis has a huge collection (per capita at least) of Open Source coders that have good experience setting up highly popular software components and websites.

Proposed Uses of the High Speed Internet

Here some preliminary ideas for how the high speed internet could be used in Davis.

  • Science
    • High resolution medical data could be shared in real time between the UCDMC, Sutter Davis, the med school, the vet school, etc.
    • UC Davis participates in a number of cutting edge physics experiments which involve unprecedented amounts of information generation. Several labs here are working on experiments at the Large Hadron Collider in CERN. An estimated 30 terabytes of data may be generated in 24 hours The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope is being led by our very own UC Davis professor Anthony Tyson and will also produce roughly 30 terabytes of data in a single day (interestingly, Google is actually working with the LSST experiment to make night sky maps available to the public!).
    • The necessity of sharing data in scientific collaborations has historically played a huge role in the evolution of internet technologies; the world wide web itself was even invented by physicists at CERN for the purpose of information exchange! As both the size of scientific collaborations and the amount of data products grow they continue to push the boundaries of what current technologies allow for.
    • Having higher speed internet would facilitate the research of a wide range of research groups at UC Davis and could potentially lead to innovations in the way that data is redundantly stored and analyzed. The trends which evolve within our community might eventually become the norm as internet bandwidth increases for an increasing number of people.
  • Streaming Media
    • A program could be initiated to make high quality streaming videos of UC Davis lectures available online.
    • Dance, theater, or music performances could be streamed in high fidelity.
    • Transmission of high quality video lectures (from a major research university), television (including existing community television) and movies without involving the cable companies
    • Greater video and GIS functionality for Daviswiki and other local websites.
  • Open access WiFi blanketing the city (with that much bandwidth, it doesn't matter if you share some). This could greatly expand the use of mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad and Android powered devices. It would also empower the student population in desperate need of more connectivity for studying.
  • Distributed, redundant data systems possessing community content could be facilitated
  • Voice over IP everywhere
  • Collaborative projects between the UCD campus and industry where very high speed data links are required
  • Make Davis a hub for network based businesses
  • Experimental environment for new ideas and technologies surrounding mobile devices (see open access WiFi idea).
  • Better mapping capabilities for Bike/Pedestrian routes throughout town with video of the route integrated... Safe Routes to Schools, Errands via Bike route generator, Wildlife/Open Space tours etc.
  • Video coverage of all City Commissions, public meetings etc
  • Video tutorials and interactive virtual bicycle repair workshops with Davis Bike Collective
Have other ideas? Want to pitch in? If you want to do even more to help, then join in the effort at the group discussion page here on the wiki!

Press Coverage

2010-03-04 - Community Embraces Google Experiment in The California Aggie 2010-03-03 - Why Google Needs Davis on The Davis Voice 2010-02-23 - Googlephile Davisites Want Faster Internet on The Davis Voice 2010-03-18 - in Sacramento Bee - Discusses a number of competing communities 2010-03-19 - in UC Davis Dateline - UC Davis joins effort as Chancellor Linda Katehi agrees to sign letter to Mayor Ruth Asmundson in support of the city’s application 2010-03-25 - Bring Google Fiber to Davis OpEd in The Davis Enterprise 2010-02-25 - Bring Google Fiber to Davis reprint of Enterprise OpEd on The Davis Voice