Fiber connectivity lays the foundation for development of the next generation of online applications and services, Google Product Manager Minnie Ingersoll said during a presentation yesterday at the Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise. Ingersoll, who heads up Google's Gigabit project — a plan to wire one or two select U.S. cities with a 1 Gigabit fiber network — was one of several speakers participating in the Fiber Fete broadband summit taking place this week in Lafayette.
Ingersoll said the Google Gigabit project was born after several failed attempts to lobby the Federal Communications Commission to lead the way in wiring cities with fiber as part of its national broadband strategy. "Then we said, 'why are we telling the FCC to do this? We're fully capable of stepping up and doing this ourselves."
Google announced its plans to build out a 1 Gig fiber network for one or two communities, and approximately 50,000 to 500,000 people, in February. It received more than 200,000 responses from individual and communities, including Lafayette, to its online form application. Google plans to announce the selected city or cities before the end of the year.
Lafayette's application centered on its recent success in building a municipally-owned fiber network. The network, which can reach internal speeds up to 100 megabits per second, can easily be upgraded to 1 Gigabit service, according to Lafayette Utilities System Director Terry Huval. Asked whether this gives Lafayette any kind of competitive edge for the Gigabit project, Ingersoll responded: "I can't speak to whether Lafayette is better positioned than any other applicants but certainly the amount of infrastructure in Lafayette and the fact that this community has already taken on a lot of these issues is something we'll be looking at in reviewing their application."
Google has also stated that it intends to build, own and operate the networks, but that they won't be exclusive to any one Internet Service Provider, something that does not fit with Lafayette's current model. The Lafayette fiber network is operated by the publicly-owned Lafayette Utilities System, which must sell service to cover operation expenses and repay the bonds used to build the system.
In her presentation, Ingersoll gave the two main criteria Google is using in its review process. One is evaluating a city's infrastructure and the speed and efficiency with which the fiber network can be built. The other involves assessing community buy-in and how much the city would benefit from the project. "It really has to be a partnership," she said.
Ingersoll noted that Google would be looking to the community to help lead the way in the developing and testing new applications on the 1 Gig network. "It's going to be a lot of us listening to the communities. On the other hand, we have a lot of expertise with applications to where we could say, 'here's some things you could try.'" She emphasized that the idea is that, by openly sharing information about the project, even communities that are not selected can benefit from the lessons learned. "We want to be involved in every community to the extent that we can help catalyze those conversations," she said.
JUNE 19 Former Saint Steve Gleason, who is paralyzed by ALS, released a statement Tuesday in response to the Atlanta radio station's skit making fun of him and the disease, this Picayune post reports. What did he say? He said he'd accepted the apology of the DJs who did it, notes that at least the incident has got people talking about ALS, and asks anyone who is burning to take action about it to do so -- by helping him fight ALS.
JUNE 19 Blogger Ian McGibboney takes a look at the Gleason incident in this post. He makes a good argument about the difference between having free speech and being free from consequences for your speech (which none of us is). He also admits that many of us got upset before we listened to the skit -- but lets us know that the reality is far worse than we can imagine. It was the incredibly bad judgment, even more than the actual speech, that probably got those DJs fired, he opines.
JUNE 19 Washington Post blogger Aaron Blake writes about Sen. Guillory's switch to the GOP in this post. He writes what most political watchers in Louisiana know: Guillory was a Republican before he decided to run for the senate seat in a mostly-D St. Landry district, and has switched back now that he plans to run for Lt. Gov. in a mostly-R state. But how come Blake missed Guillory's appearance on a TLC pageant show? Now that is a video we'd like to see. (Again).
JUNE 19 Here's another Washington Post blog post about a Louisiana politician, and it's just plain scathing. Ezra Klein says Jindal's Politico post was "insulting" to the intelligence of voters, and adds that Jindal is personifying the "stupid" he's railed against, by being an "elite" who convinces GOP activists of "things that aren't true." Me-ow.
JUNE 19 Here's Gov. Jindal's post in Politico, in which he asks the GOP to get over losing to Obama (again) and stop "the bedwetting." (Uh, what?) He gives his Republican buddies what is probably a nerd's idea of a coach's motivational talk, which starts with a list of accomplishments that they can't seem to exploit and ending with an absurd description of liberals that sounds like a character treatment for a Fox "News" movie scripted by Gordon Liddy. Sure, he's preaching to the choir, but even the choir's not this gullible.
JUNE 19 Lamar Parmentel read Gov. Jindal's post on Politico, but thinks it was so dumb it probably was published in the wrong paper. This post by Lamar on the Daily Kingfish opines that possibly Jindal's post was destined for the Onion -- because the governor couldn't possibly be serious here. If you listen closely, you can hear the staff of the Kingfish giggling.
JUNE 19 Blogger Robert Mann posts from Turkey, a country he has visited several times in the past few years. Mann gives an interesting overview of the current political and societal climate of the country, which -- if you're living under a rock and don't know -- is experiencing protests and turmoil these days. Mann promises to post as much as he can during his trip, which should be fascinating reading.
JUNE 19 Blogger CB Forgotston says the legislature is keeping the vicious cycle going with its funding of new buildings for the community college/technical college system. Universities across the state need maintenance and improvement on existing buildings, and the solution is to build new buildings at other schools? By the time the bonds are paid off, those buildings will be falling down, too, CB says.
Frank’s Casing Crew, now doing business as Frank’s International, will make its final appearance on ABiz’s list of the Top 50 Privately Held Companies in Acadiana this year, and once again, it will likely be at the top with more than $1 billion in annual revenues. The 75-year-old company specializing in tubular fabrication and installation services to the oil and gas industry plans to go public this year.
The defeat, or rather highjacking of House Bill 420 in the final days of this year's Legislative Session, say Reps. Vincent Pierre and Terry Landry, is the result of the propaganda spread by one unidentified local media outlet and an unnamed former state Representative, but nothing to do with the original legislation's lack of checks, balances or details.
He’s a singer. A songwriter. A piano man. A family man. He’s even got his own Wikipedia entry. He’s David Egan. And he knows ancient secrets about the monolithic stones of Stonehenge that he’s not willing to share.