The Ides of Google?

March 15, 44 B.C. marked the assassination of Roman emperor Julius Caesar. The emperor had been warned to beware of that day by  a soothsayer and a fateful day it became. Thanks to Shakespeare, we are quite familiar with the term and have transformed it into  an almost generic term fora sense of foreboding. And yet, for Romans of that era it was a way to refer to the 15th of March, May, July and October.

Perhaps, in a different way, we have another example of somethings that should make us wary. The pervasive one, aka Google, has made quite an interesting offer to virtually any community in these United States. On February 10, the company announced an  unprecendented  offer. Although the offer was scant with detail, it has generated enormous response.

It was described thusly in the News and Observer on March 13 in an article by Sarah Ovaska.  Founded in 1998 (hard to believe) by Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the Mountain View,Ca company issued this proposal. “…to rewire an entire community,free, with Internet service more than 100 times faster than what most people experience.Think gravel road meets Autobahn( great analogy, by the way).”

Her article was entitled, “Area Towns preen for Google, ” with an opening line of “The Triangle (Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC) is getting all googly-eyed.”

No doubt that similar articles have appeared elsewhere. Certainly, cities all across the fruited plain and from sea to shining sea are making their pitch. The deadline for proposals is March 26, so time is short. Google says it has not tallied a number of responses. Don’t believe that for a second. Betcha they are analyzing the dickens out of this stuff already.

Now, why are they doing this? Google spokesman Dan Martin says, ” We want to see more people online, and we want to see the Internet become easier and faster.” I actually believe that statement, but, I also believe that it is by no means their real motivation. With details so sketchy, what will happen and when is as unknown as to whom it will happen. How much is Google willing to spend? Will it require financial participation from local government? How significant is the offer if computer ownership is not significant? Will there be  a corporate partner? Say Dell or Hewlett-Packard?

There are so many intriguing questions. It brings to mind  a line from my favorite tv show, NCIS. When queried about Gibbs past, “Ducky” has this telling response.”With Gibbs, there are always more questions than answers.”

Since our little town is probably not in the running, I will watch with interest to see the winner and what happens next. The whole thing is almost eerily similar to those instances when a federal agency solicits comment about a proposed ruling or decision. Could there be any connection( pun most definitely intended) to the FCC announcement of its 10 year plan to make high-speed Internet the country’s dominant communication network. Yep, that would mean the eclipsing of radio, cable tv and telephone comapnies by  whom?  Talk about ramifications. As Yoda might say, plentiful they would be.


March 14, 2010 - Posted by | economy, Media, Technology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] The Ides of Google? « Tarheeltalker […]

    Pingback by NCIS Hugs | Abraço - abraços e beijos | March 14, 2010 | Reply

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