Topeka changes name to Google, KS; pushes for fiber

Last month, Google unveiled their bold plan to bring 1 Gb/s Internet to the United States using a fiber optic network. As part of the plan, Google is looking for cities to nominate themselves to be a part of the initial trial. Cities can be nominated by individuals, or by city officials. .

It seems that Topeka, KS is really pushing for Google's attention. According to CJOnline, Topeka's mayor, Bill Bunten, signed a proclamation, changing the name of the city to Google, KS for the month of March. The city is serious about bringing Google's fiber network to its people. The city council and community is fully onboard with the name change and push for fiber. Facebook group, Think Big Topeka, which was organized to campaign Google, now has 10,000 members.

The idea of changing the city's name to Google was suggested by general manager of WIBW-TV Channel 13, Jim Ogle. Name changing isn't something so new for the small Kansas city. Back in 1998, Topeka changed its name to "ToPikachu" in order to pay homage to the nationwide release of the Pokemon franchise.

Check out this Think Big Topeka support video:

Google, KS

Image taken from Gizmodo.

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36 Comments

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TrueMonolith said,
If a city renamed itself Apple city...or IPodville, Apple would sue their ass. Topeka picked a good company to worship.

LOL!

Comcast & Verizon want $150 for 50 Mbps connection? Wow, that's a lot. I get a 70 MB here in Bulgaria and I pay around $23 a month.

Frazell Thomas said,
You gotta be kidding me. The way people worship corporations now is getting VERY VERY scary.

they aren't worshiping anything, they are trying to attract google to their city to provide a service similar to Verizon's FIoS service. Maybe you have the money to finance something like that, but apparently Topeka doesn't.

Frazell Thomas said,
You gotta be kidding me. The way people worship corporations now is getting VERY VERY scary.

I was going to suggest this at my next City Council Meeting actually, too bad Topeka beat me to it... it has nothing to do with worship, it has to do with wanting better options. It's ludicris that a SINGLE company (Comcast) controls all of the Internet for my entire region.

DSL isn't an option because it's far too slow, and FIOS is a joke as far as I'm concerned -- they've been "rolling it out" for 5 years yet I still can't get it at my own HOUSE. Apartments are one thing, but they should have 100% coverage on homes by now.

Stokkolm said,

they aren't worshiping anything, they are trying to attract google to their city to provide a service similar to Verizon's FIoS service. Maybe you have the money to finance something like that, but apparently Topeka doesn't.

There are other ways to go about this. Selling themselves out only makes them look like fools.

Frylock86 said,

There are other ways to go about this. Selling themselves out only makes them look like fools.

They aren't changing the name forever its short lived, gets their attention got a news article. Mission accomplished. Can't blame them for wanting to take part in Google's trial run of speedy innerwebing. Bell in Canada recently upgraded to Fibre Optics. Although 25Mb/s is the fastest we have currently.

Frazell Thomas said,
You gotta be kidding me. The way people worship corporations now is getting VERY VERY scary.
This kind of behavior is nothing new. Look at how states make concessions to lure companies to put up factories. You can even go back to the 1800's when Stephen Douglas brokered the slavery compromise in exchange for the railroads main hub going through Chicago instead of St. Louis. A city in Washington State built a dam that wasn't really needed so they could lure datacenters with cheap power. Google wins by having a town that is jumping at the chance to take part and the town wins with free fiber.

"Selling themselves out only makes them look like fools." Selling them selves, hmmm in business school they call that marketing. I would guess that Topeka is at least getting mentioned by people in charge of this at Google. Is your town?

vaximily said,
It's ludicris that a SINGLE company (Comcast) controls all of the Internet for my entire region.

DSL isn't an option because it's far too slow

You contradicted yourself. DSL is an option that you have chosen not to use. Regardless of speed, you do have more than one provider. I do agree that there should be more providers in a given area, but I don't think Google should be the one providing it. They already are one of the largest, if not the largest, data miners in the nation.

griffinme said,
This kind of behavior is nothing new. Look at how states make concessions to lure companies to put up factories. You can even go back to the 1800's when Stephen Douglas brokered the slavery compromise in exchange for the railroads main hub going through Chicago instead of St. Louis. A city in Washington State built a dam that wasn't really needed so they could lure datacenters with cheap power. Google wins by having a town that is jumping at the chance to take part and the town wins with free fiber.

"Selling themselves out only makes them look like fools." Selling them selves, hmmm in business school they call that marketing. I would guess that Topeka is at least getting mentioned by people in charge of this at Google. Is your town?

This is my point really. If they cared about spurring investment in their community they could offer tax breaks or other incentives to companies like Verizon to roll out FiOS service. Of course, that gives them be ability to put some strings on Verizon as well. Like ensuring they cover x% of the population and they operate the service for x years.

This "deal" from Google is very hogwash. Google haven't made any real commitments or published any serious information. They have only said the service will be a trial run (so it will not last forever) and that it will be competitively priced (what does that even mean?).

This service can really pull the rug out from under their feet and they aren't even being smart enough to ask questions before they blindly toot Google's horn. What if the service offered by Google is actually 1Gbps. I'm sure that could force Comcast out of the market totally. Then what are they left with when Google cancels the trial? No high speed net options at all? A very scary question since Google aren't making any long term commitments. They could have the network live for a year... Look at the Muni-WiFi initiatives a few years back...

What do they mean by "competitively" priced? Since there are no current 1Gbps consumer level internet services who are they considering competitors? If they compared themselves to Comcast and Verizon (Consumer ISPs) then they'd be pricing in the top range of those services. Comcast & Verizon want well over $150/m for 50Mbps service; will this cost that much? Is that affordable to the average person in Topeka? If they sell the 1Gbps for 1Mbps prices then I wouldn't call it competitively priced...

Really they should be asking more and taking the logical incentive based approach to this and not selling themselves out before they even know the terms of sale...

But logic seems to elude my generation.

It's funny how people have the money to purchase decent video cameras yet lack the savvy to produce anything more ambitious than a monster truck ad.

seta-san said,
that's all we need. the westborro baptist church with an internet connection at the speed of light.

God Hates Google!

shakey said,
Google to google city. Here at Google, we google the google right to the google for a google good time.

Nice try, but it's a total fail.

shakey said,
Google to google city. Here at Google, we google the google right to the google for a google good time.

Smurf Yeah! oh wait, I thought only the smurfs taked like that *L*

shakey said,
Google to google city. Here at Google, we google the google right to the google for a google good time.

maybe Quagmire should change his catch phrase:
Awwwwwwrriiiiiight... Googily googily goo-gil-yyy!