Mayor Bryon Brown rallied the troops yesterday to support the City's bid to attract Google's ultra-high speed, experimental Google Fiber for Communities to Buffalo. The five o'clock downtown rally organized by Jeffrey Ross of InfoTech Niagara was at times like an IT convention or a Buffalo Bandits game, whoops and cheers interspersed with high-minded dialog on the particular suitability of the Buffalo market for the experimental network.
Google Fiber enthusiasts joined up with some of the region's top technology brass and the Mayor's leadership team to send a signal to Google Inc. that Buffalo is serious about its bid. The City of Buffalo's response to Google's Request for Information (RFI) for Google Fiber is out the door, we're told. The Mayor met personally with Google staff in Washington, DC, a couple weeks ago, and feels confident the City is submitting a competitive application.
The Mayor didn't jump in a freezing lake or propose renaming the city after Google. Buffalo stays classy. The City's bid is focused on partnerships the Mayor has lined up with partners like the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and SUNY-Buffalo to test applications of the experimental network, as well as what he called "the city's history as a test site for new innovations."
Buffalo was the first city in the world to be served by commercial Alternating Electricity (AC) in 1896; Buffalonian George Schuster, driving a Buffalo-made Thomas Flyer, won the first automobile race around the world from New York to Paris in 1908; the Bell X-1, an experimental aircraft manufactured in Buffalo, broke the speed of sound for the first time in history in 1947. Buffalo was one of the first regions in the world to have access to commercial cellular phone service, introduced by Buffalo Telephone Co. in 1984, only eight months after the first ever such service was established in Chicago by Ameritech Mobile. If Buffalo doesn't have the juice, who does?
"The rally is over but the effort is not," says Kevin Dawidowicz, one of the rally's organizers and the manager of the Facebook group dedicated to Buffalo's Google Fiber bid. Dawidowicz urges community partners, businesses and individuals to nominate Buffalo at Google's website if they have not done so already. The deadline for responses to Google's Request for Information (RFI) is tomorrow (Friday) at 5 pm. This is your chance, Buffalo. Step up!
Submit a nomination for Buffalo at the Google Fiber RFI website here. Also, check out YNN's video coverage of the rally here. Keep up to date on Buffalo's Google Fiber progress at buffalowantsfiber.com.