Mayors of cities applying to be Google’s chosen test bed for its offer of free ultra-high-speed broadband network will go to great lengths to try to be the chosen one, it seems

The mayor of Duluth, Minn., threw himself into the ice-ringed waters of Lake Superior. In an act of oneupmanship, the mayor of Sarasota, Fla., immersed himself in a tank filled with bonnethead sharks. And the mayor of Wilmington, N.C. said that he would jump out of an airplane — with a parachute, thankfully.

As reported here last week, Berkeley is preparing its own application to Google, which is offering a network with speeds of one gigabit per second — or 100 times faster than many of today’s high-speed connections. According to the New York Times, hundreds of cities are expected to apply before the deadline on Friday — meaning a stand-out bid might help prevent disappointment.

So Mayor Bates. What’s it to be?

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Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...