If everything isn't already up to date in Kansas City it soon will be, thanks to Google. After more than a year of hemming and hawing about where to build a superfast gigabit-per-second broadband network, the search advertising everything giant has chosen to bestow its broadband largesse upon the citizens of Kansas City, Kansas.
What I want to know is, just how pissed off is Topeka right now? To persuade Google to lay some fat pipe around its town, the city changed its name to "Google, Kansas," for a month last March. Google acknowledged the gesture by renaming itself Topeka last April Fool's Day. Topeka must have figured it had a lock. Instead, the city 60 miles to the east gets the nod. That's got to sting.
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Topeka was not the only city willing to humiliate itself for the opportunity of having a 21st-century fiber network built for it, free of charge. More than 1,100 cities put their hands up, and some did much more:
- The city of Rancho Cucamonga threatened to rename itself Rancho Googlemonga -- because if you already have a ridiculous name, you have nothing left to lose.
- In Sarasota, Fla., a floating public park was renamed "Google Island." Only an island? Seriously? No wonder it didn't make the cut.
- Duluth, Minn., Mayer Don Ness jumped into the frigid waters of Lake Superior -- in February, no less -- to demonstrate how Google could use that natural resource to cool its overheating servers. Or maybe he's just nuts.
- Some 2,000 citizens in Greenville, S.C., spelled out the word "Google" by holding LED glow sticks in an effort to get the company's attention. Wonder how many people it will take to spell out the word "losers."