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Hey Google, Pick Spokane

Release Date: 3/10/2010 2:20:00 PM

Contact: Marlene Feist, 625-6740

The City of Spokane is calling on citizens to show support for Spokane’s application for the Google Fiber for Communities project. The project also is supported by community partners Greater Spokane Incorporated, Avista Corp., tw telecom inc., Greenstone Corp., and others.

To show support, citizens can send letters or emails of support to googleproject@spokanecity.org or spokaneproject@gmail.com. Or, they can fill out a citizen application for Spokane at www.google.com/appserve/fiberrfi/public/options. Or, they can become a Facebook fan.

Support letters and emails should include reasons why this project would be good for Spokane. Be creative.

Citizens also can provide comments during the City Council meeting on Monday, March 22, at the East Central Community Center, 500 S. Stone, when the Spokane City Council will consider a resolution in support of this application.

Internet giant Google is asking for communities to apply for their Google Fiber for Communities project, which would include deployment of fiber to the home in the communities selected. The infrastructure that would be constructed would deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today—more than 1 gigabit per second. Citizens would have to pay to connect to the service.

“We are sure the competition for this project will be fierce, but we believe that Spokane would be a good choice for Google,” says Mayor Mary Verner.

The City and its community partners concluded that applying for this project fits with Spokane’s economic and educational goals and complements Spokane’s long history of deploying technological advances that contribute to our community well-being.

High-speed Internet access can provide positive support for all of Spokane’s priority industry clusters: aerospace, health care, and clean technology & energy efficiency. Additionally, such technology can help us combat the community’s high-school dropout rate and help develop a skilled and educated workforce essential for future growth.

Some technology achievements Spokane already has posted include:

· Stimulus Award to expand broadband access. In December 2009, Spokane’s Tincan program learned that it will receive $2.2 million under the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, funded by federal stimulus dollars, to expand broadband access to unserved and underserved communities. The funding will enhance connectivity to Spokane’s libraries, community centers, and at other agencies.

· Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS). Among other collaborative services, INHS is a provider of health information technology for a number of hospitals in the Spokane area. Recently, INHS launched 1HealthRecord, a service that allows people to securely import portions of their electronic medical records into their Google Health Accounts.

· Inland Northwest GigaPop. The GigaPop, launched in August 2007, is an advanced fiber-optic network that can send and receive vast amount of information to enhance research, education, and economic development.

· SpokaneHotZone. The SpokaneHotZone is an outdoor wireless network that covers 100 blocks in the downtown. When it launched in June 2004, it was the nation’s largest municipal wi-fi network deployment.

· District 81 Educational Metropolitan Area Network (E-Man). This network was the first of its kind in the world deployed at a public school district.

· Terabyte Triangle. The Terabyte Triangle was developed as a downtown economic development initiative that included wiring buildings with high-speed connectivity within a 30-block area surrounding the City center. The first building to embrace this idea came on line in 1997.

Spokane also was named the Top Intelligent Community two years in a row by the World Teleport Association. Our hospitals consistently are recognized by Health & Hospitals as part of the nation’s 100 Most Wired Hospitals. And, in part, the City received an All-America City award in 2004 from the National Civic League for its work in technology.

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