Celebration FL Wants Google Gigabit Broadband
The town of Celebration FL has a unique history. It’s the town that Disney originally provided the land for, designed, built, and operated. Several books have been written about it. Disney no longer operates the town but they continue to occupy most of the office buildings.
When the town was originally built, it was promoted as being very networked. In the mid-1990′s it held the world’s record for “most connected town” in the country. SmartCity, the firm that supports the phone and network infrastructure at Disney World, also wired up Celebration and still provides the phone service. Cable broadband and television stations are provided by Comcast, in partnership to the SmartCity infrastructure. SmartCity provides telephone and DSL. All of it buried in ground. This was back in 1992. As nearby cities today get high-speed cable broadband and FIOS, those services are not including the town of Celebration because of it’s private infrastructure. Residents have sometimes been caught by Comcast finger-pointing to avoid responsibility when trying to resolve service problems.
I live in this area and my Internet bandwidth usage is beginning to have some concern. I “cut the cable-TV cord” recently, so all of my television, movies, news, conversation, downloads, and my VOIP phone comes to me via my broadband connection. I’ve already neared Comcast’s 250gig limit once, and I haven’t started my live streams yet.
So it’s very exciting on many levels that Google may offer a solution.
Google is offering a ‘contest’, where they will wire up a few small towns with their new Gigabit broadband service, and a letter went out to Celebration residents encouraging them to participate:
Celebration Residential Owner’s Association, Inc. Celebration Non-Residential Owner’s Association, Inc. March 10, 2010 Hello: My name is Teddy Benson, and I am a member of the newly formed Google Fiber Initiative Task Force for Celebration. I am a proud resident of Celebration and want nothing but the best for our town. To that end, Google has begun an initiative to add a high-speed fiber Internet network to a select few communities in the United States. This high-speed fiber Internet network would give Cele- bration speeds up to, and perhaps beyond, 100 times what we currently have available to us now. Some opportunities come just once in a lifetime and we have one upon us now. This is a perfect opportunity for Celebration to be at the forefront of technology. By providing residents, schools, businesses and community groups alike near instant access to the Internet - not to mention the ability to see local events, contact neighbors, friends, family, and customers, quickly and easily – the online world would be at our town’s fingertips! We are having a special Town Meeting on Tuesday, March 16 at 7:00 pm at 851 Celebration Avenue (Community Center), Room 104 to explain the Google Fiber Initiative. We will also discuss, in detail, how you as residents can help capture this great opportunity for our town. It is imperative that Google knows that this initiative has the full support of our residents, officials, businesses and community groups. In short, Celebration needs your help. Google requires that any town wishing to participate in their plan must have the backing of the community as a whole. To show your support, simply complete a Request for Information (RFI) form online. The form is located on Google’s web site http://www.google.com/appserve/fiberrfi/public/options. I have included a step-by-step guide to walk you through the process, if needed. Please use your own words and respond honestly. On behalf of the Task Force, I implore you to take 10 minutes of your time and submit an online request on behalf of the Town of Celebration. I cannot stress enough how important this can be for Celebration. This could be a turning point in Celebration’s history. Time is of the essence, as Google has set the deadline of March 26, 2010 for submitting requests. Please do not delay in sending in your online request and pass this along to everyone in town you know – neighbors, community groups, businesses and anyone else you can think of. The deadline is only a few days away and we only have one chance to get our town’s voice heard by Google. In the spirit that has made Celebration the great community that it is, let’s all pull together to make this happen! Thank you for your time, support and effort! Sincerely, Teddy Benson, Resident of Celebration since 1996 Member of the Google Fiber Initiative Task Force for Celebration
Residents have to go online to their “front porch” website and follow the instructions for filling out the online Google form. Submissions are due by March 26. Every submittal increases Celebration’s chance.
Google Fiber Initiative Town Meeting
Tue, March 16; 7:00 p.m.
851 Celebration Avenue
Given the famous nature of the town (it was also a premier town for the Segway scooter), and it’s proximity to Disney World, both Celebration and Google would benefit from this arrangement. As would I