Garcia proposes LB as Google broadband test city

First District Councilmember Robert Garcia has introduced a motion that could bring the world’s fastest Internet connections to Long Beach.
Google, famous for its exhaustive, free search engine, has announced plans to offer broadband service that will be 100 to 1,000 times faster than currently available high-speed Internet, and the California company will test the new technology in one or more cities first, offering service at “competitive rates” for up to half-a-million customers.
“This is an opportunity for Long Beach to provide faster Internet service to more residents, help close the digital divide, and raise our city’s profile,” Garcia said. “I am committed to making Long Beach a technology leader.”
Garcia has also led the charge to create a new Long Beach City iPhone application, integrate the iPhone into the city’s Lotus Notes application, put public officials’ city calendars online, and create social networking pages for the City.
Applications for the Google system are available online and must be completed by March 26. Garcia would like to see Long Beach apply for the honor and has submitted a motion, cosponsored by Councilmember Dee Andrews and Vice Mayor Val Lerch, to that effect for the February 16 Council meeting.
Currently, although residents of the Los Angeles metropolitan area enjoy higher levels of Internet access than the national average, many Long Beach residents lack efficient Internet access at home, and the percentage of residents without Internet increases as income decreases.
“Long Beach needs to be a technology leader,” said Garcia. “This is one simple step we can take to help make that a reality.”

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