Thousands Respond To Google's Fast Broadband Invite

Less than two months ago Google Inc. began talking about a grand experiment it planned to undertake--to deliver ultra fast broadband services--at speeds up to 1 gigabit per second, basically 100 times what most people currently receive--to as many as 500,000 users throughout the country.

At the time, the search giant invited individuals and communities to make a case for inclusion in the pilot project and set a deadline of March 26 to respond.

Now that the deadline has come and gone Google has counted the responses to its invitation, both from individuals and communities. It suggested that with the input its finger now is firmly on the pulse of broadband in the U.S.

"This enthusiasm is much bigger than Google and our experimental network," wrote James Kelly, Google product manager, in a blog post. "If one message has come through loud and clear, it's this: people across the country are hungry for better and faster Internet access."

Exactly how many out there are starved for high speed broadband? In a word, plenty. Google said that it got responses back from 1,100 communities and more than 194,000 individuals asking to be included in the company's scheme to tinker with broadband access.

Google even posted a map of the U.S. detailing geographic areas with the greatest concentrations of responses. The graphic seems to indicate that a large number of individual responses came from areas in Ohio, Illinois, Florida and Texas and also throughout the southeastern US.

Government responses mapped to large population areas, mostly concentrated east of the Mississippi River and along the California coastline.

Google will review the applications to figure out where it wants to build out its broadband networks and announce its decisions by the end of the year, Kelly wrote.

"Over the coming months, we'll be reviewing the responses to determine where to build," he wrote. "Based on a rigorous review of the data, we will announce our target community or communities by the end of the year."

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