Sarasota has entered the Google Fiber race for super-high-speed Internet by renaming City Island "Google Island."
This announcement comes less than a week after Topeka, Kansas was renamed "Google, Kansas -- the capital city of fiber optics."
In early February, Google announced plans to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a number of communities across the United States. Google said it expects to bring high-speed Internet service (with speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second) to between 50,000 and 500,000 people, and asked that local governments and residents nominate their communities as trial locations.
A number of cities across the United States have been vying for Google's fiber networks, including Cincinnati; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Rochester, New York; and Jersey City, New Jersey -- but a couple have managed to stand out with their gimmicks. Topeka Mayor Bill Bunten signed a proclamation on March 1 declaring that his city will be renamed "Google" for the duration of March (none of the seven council members present at the signing objected to the renaming).
In response to Topeka's attention-grabbing stunt, the city officials of Duluth, Minnesota posted a spoof video on Youtube of a press conference in which they declared that every first born male in the city would be renamed "Google Fiber," while every first born female would be renamed "Googlette Fiber." Take a look:
Another video features Duluth Mayor Don Ness jumping into a 35-degree Lake Superior to show his support for Google's endeavor (and for the Special Olympics). Here it is:
Now, Sarasota, Florida has responded to both Topeka and Duluth with a video of its own -- a video that declares Topeka's view boring, Duluth's weather freezing, and Sarasota "Paradise." (Apparently, people would rather move to Sarasota than Topeka or Duluth, and Google should too.)
Why Sarasota? The city is home to a "booming digital film industry," said a campaign representative, citing computer animations school Ringling College of Art and Design and medical animation company BioLucid Productions. High-speed internet would help by accelerating the transmission, broadcast, and streaming of the large files created in the digital film industry.
The campaign encourages local residents to get involved by nominating Sarasota as a trial community, and to show their support by joining the "I Want Google Fiber in Sarasota" Facebook group.
In fact, more than 200 Facebook groups are dedicated to bringing Google Fiber to communities all over the United States. Among the contenders: Las Vegas, Detroit, and Boise, Idaho.