Madison continues to be an innovator in many ways. While the politics and processes within the city can be extremely frustrating, the direction that the community continues to pursue is a positive one. Beyond new high speed rail service, there are a couple of significant initiatives that are worth your attention and interest – the city’s new cultural plan and the race to be selected as a Google fiber optic high speed broadband city.
The City of Madison is in the midst of developing a cultural plan designed to “help invent Madison’s future as a center for innovation in the arts, sciences and history.” Given how well the city has done in many of these areas, the plan can only be a big help to continued future innovation. To help with the development of the plan, the city is seeking input through surveys targeted to residents in these areas of the arts and innovation, from general consumers and from organizations representing these areas. These 3 surveys are currently available at the plan’s website for your review, selection and completion to make sure your voice is heard. In addition, the web site provides a toolkit for community discussion groups that would like to participate in generating ideas and directions for the plan.
Google Fiber Optic High Speed Connections
Madison is one of many cities, including Milwaukee, that are in a race to be considered for a major investment by Google in high speed fiber optic cabling to the home. Google is getting into the broadband business with plans to “build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the United States. We’ll deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. We plan to offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people”, according to TechCrunch.
While cities like Topeka have tried gimmicks like temporarily renaming themselves Google, Kansas (see report), Madison is reaching out to residents through community meetings, a user survey and an active Twitter account. If you’re interested in seeing high speed broadband service brought to the state’s capital, you can help this process by:
- Attending a meeting tomorrow night, March 11 at 7:00 pm at Olbrich Gardens
- Completing a survey on current and desired high speed services
- Following @GoogNet4Madison on Twitter and Re-tweeting relevant messages
Through this process we’ll have a winning cultural plan and a shot at becoming a Google broadband test site.