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Cities join to get grant from Google

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By Brittany Cooper

03/25/10

Jerome and Twin Falls are working together on a grant that would give the community high speed internet access; only one or more communities in the country will receive this grant from Google.

Thousands of magic valley residents use the internet on a daily basis. It's become so routine; it's almost like brushing your teeth.

Most of us see internet speeds of about 7 megabits per second, but what if it could be higher?

The cities of Jerome and Twin Falls are applying for a grant from Google that would improve fiber optic cable capability, at speeds of at least 100 megabits per second.

Micah Austin, Assistant to the Jerome City Administrator says, “This is not a standard speed for the country right now."

According to Mitch Humble, T.F. Community Development Director, "Google is looking for communities not communities, but they're trying to provide to populations between 50,000 and 500,000, so I do think that Google would have considered Jerome on their own, but added another group of customers probably makes it a little more inviting."

Austin says that the infrastructure is ready to go as they've been laying fiber conduit in all open trenches. Plus what's unique to Jerome, is the oc 192 connection on the Jerome Butte provides 9.9 gigabits per second’ he says there's fiber running across the Perrine Bridge to Twin Falls.

Austin says, "It's in Twin Falls best interest to get us on board because if they were to have fiber in their community, it would also come from the Jerome side, from the Butte, the OC 192 connection."

The higher speed could be a driving effect in bringing higher paying jobs to the area. In order to nominate Jerome and Twin Falls you need to go to http://www.google.com/ appserve/fiberrfi.

Click on get involved, then nominate your community and follow the steps from there.

Friday is the last day to able to nominate these cities.


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