Communities in every U.S. state but one -- Delaware -- have applied to become test markets for Google's planned high-speed broadband network.
Approximately 1100 communities and 194,000 individuals responded to Google's request for information about communities interested in getting the network, Google said on a new website about the program.
The company launched the site this week and said it is designed to thank people for their enthusiasm and share information about the project. The site lists every county in each state and U.S. territory that applied to become test markets.
In February, Google announced plans to build what it calls an "ultra-high-speed" fiber network in one or more trial locations. It plans to deliver 1 gigabit-per-second fiber connections to 50,000 to 500,000 people. End users will pay a "competitive price" for the access, Google says. The company plans to choose where to build the network by the end of this year.
The number of communities that expressed interest in the new network indicates strong demand for better broadband services than what is currently available. The U.S. ranks behind many developed countries in terms of broadband services based on throughput. According to an October 2009 report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. ranks 23rd in the world, behind Poland, Greece, the Czech Republic and others, based on average advertised broadband download speed.
Google has noted that the strong interest in its program indicates demand. "If one message has come through loud and clear, it's this: people across the country are hungry for better and faster Internet access," James Kelly, a Google product manager, wrote in a blog post earlier this year.