In Berkeleyside’s previous coverage of Google’s experimental fiber network plans, we’ve noted that the Mountain View-based search giant has been vague about its exact plans.
The deadline for Google’s request for information (RFI) passed on Friday. Google announced that the scheme attracted 1,100 community responses and 194,000 individual responses. The map above shows where the responses were from four hours before the final deadline. Google has said that it hopes to cover between 50,000 and 500,000 people with the experiment. That could be in one city, or in several smaller communities.
Google now needs to sift through the RFIs:
So what’s next? Over the coming months, we’ll be reviewing the responses to determine where to build. As we narrow down our choices, we’ll be conducting site visits, meeting with local officials and consulting with third-party organizations. Based on a rigorous review of the data, we will announce our target community or communities by the end of the year.
To put Google’s efforts to provide an experimental, 1 gigabit per second network into perspective, the Federal Communications Commission (run by an ex-Googler) recently announced its National Broadband Plan. The goal is to have 4 megabits per second (1-25th of the Google experiment) universally available by 2020. As some commentators have pointed out, on a global scale that’s a pretty unambitious target.