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Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Efforts across the triangle by various groups to win a Google “ultra-high speed” broadband project are intensifying as a deadline nears for applications to participate.

is taking the most unique step of three local efforts. The group, which includes city, university and community leaders, is planning a “Fiber Durham Image” photo shoot at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on Thursday, March 18.

The plan calls for people to show up at 11 a.m. wearing Google colors. They will be lined up on the field to spell “We want Google.”

Meanwhile, town leaders in Carrboro and Chapel Hill along with UNC-Chapel Hill representatives will host a public forum on Monday, March 15. The meeting will take place in the Chapel Hill Town Hall starting at 7 p.m.




Another group has launched a campaign with its own Facebook page.

The deadline for the applications is March 26.

The HiFiber Durham group recently e-mailed a questionnaire as part of its appeal for public support.

“Google will be selecting a small number of cities (perhaps just one) for a pilot of a next-generation high-speed Internet service that stands to revolutionize how information technology adds value to communities,” the group wrote.

“In order for Durham to be considered as a place for Google to pilot this service, our community must respond to their request for information.”

HiFiber Durham describes itself as “a community-led effort with support of the City of Durham and the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce. Our goal is to help Durham make the strongest case possible to Google that our city should be selected as the site for the company’s proposed ultra-high-speed fiber optic service trial.”

Organizers added that they “strongly suggest” people team up within organizations in preparing answers.

The questionnaire reads as follows:

• “How your institution, company or organization might be able to improve what you do today by making use of Google high-speed Internet connectivity across our community and what problems could be solved by a very-high-speed fiber optic network.

• “What new types of services you might imagine your organization considering if there was a community-wide Google very-high-speed fiber optic service.

• “What innovative services you think might be possible if we had a community-wide very-high-speed Internet in Durham.

• “We’d also like to get your feedback on this process and to hear any other ideas that you might have.”

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro group also is seeking support through an online questionnaire.

“A strong application will depend on identifying community resources that can contribute to the Google effort and enthusiastic community support for the project,” the partnership said in its announcement.