Google broadband experiment
I thought I'd pass this along as Google is looking for volunteer communities. I always think the USVIs are perfect when I hear of these things: being 'rural', islolated geographically, and way behind the mainland Internet-wise but so close to a major pipeline.
We're planning 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.
As a first step, today we're putting out a request for information (RFI) to help identify interested communities. We welcome responses from local government, as well as members of the public.
I've been excited/crossing my fingers over the national broadband but this is now. If I lived there already I'd be all over this as a 'member of the public'.
I think the USVI would be a smaller market than they are looking for. They said they are looking for 50,000 - 500,000 users. The USVI barely has 50,000 homes.. Less than half the home subscribe to CATV so I would guess that there would be less than 10,000 HSD users in the USVI and even fewer if Google charged for the service.
But who knows. I would love to have that much pipe coming into my house.
I will take a look. Getting government approval would be difficult. If the high speed experiment succeeded it probably be the end of Innovative. Innovative is just hanging on now so the VI Government , encouraged by the unions, would probably do everything possible to protect the 495 good paying jobs Innovative provides.
There were a couple of articles related to internet services in the USVI in the VI Daily News recently. Based on the first article below, looks like V.I. Public Finance Authority Office of Economic Opportunity is the entity that needs to be pressured....uh....I mean.....contacted by the public regarding Google's potential opportunity in the VI.
After reading more about it I'm almost certain Google would not be interested here. They seem to be looking to light up dark fiber that has already been laid, much of which they already own through acquisitions they've made in recent years. We don't have that here. Had Innovative not been used as a bank account by it's owner and instead been investing the money in infrastructure we would probably be in a better position.