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Grand Rapids applies for Google project

12:28 PM, Mar 3, 2010   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - If the city is selected by Google, Grand Rapids could have super fast fiber optic internet access.

"I think we have a very good chance," says Doug Lang of Grand Rapids Technology Partnership. "We are a very creative community. We have a great mix."

Google is looking for one or more communities to install experimental high speed service that runs 100 times faster than what's currently available. The company says it wants to explore ways to make the internet better and faster.

Tuesday night, Grand Rapids Technology Partnership co-sponsored a workshop at the Urban Mill Coffee Shop on Market Street to discuss ways to attract Google.

"What we need to do is band together as a team of Grand Rapidians and make this happen," says Pete Brand of Mindscape at Hanon McKendry in Grand Rapids.

"We actually have the application drafted," Grand Rapids Technology Director Paul Klimas told the group. "We are soliciting supportive letters to go along with the application."

There are at least 200 other cities trying to get the Google fiber optic system. Holland announced it's also vying for the system on Wednesday.

Grand Rapids Technology Partners is urging people to e-mail, post on social networks and do whatever else they can think of to make Google choose Grand Rapids.

"They are looking at weather conditions, they are looking at lots of different things," says Ashima Saigal community activist "We don't know what is going to draw them."

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