by Senator Will Espero
Play Station 3, Wii, X-Box players, stand up and get noticed! Come on, you all know that the player with the fastest download is the one who’ll probably win. And with slow download, disconnects are such a drag…….
How does one gigabit broadband sound to you? It could happen if Hawaii gets more on the ball to show community support for the Google Gigabit Broadband Initiative. The United States is 38th in the world in internet speed, and Google wants US to get with the game, literally. A nationwide call for interest, deadline March 26, is out there for communities that want to be the test site for Google’s one gigabit demonstration project. Add your name to the list for supporting Hawaii as the chosen locale.
Google is looking for communities of 50,000 to 500,000. Its ultimate goal is to put pressure on broadband providers across the county to provide affordable, ultra high speed internet. In 2005, the town of Nuenen, Holland was an early test site for Fiber-to-the-Home technology, through European providers. Within the first year, 90% of residents signed up for the free installation, and by the end of the demonstration period, 97% of all households were connected. About a 100 new businesses sprang up, which were made possible by the availability of ultra high speed broadband capabilities. Since that time, Japan, Canada, and other countries have begun offering ultra high speed broadband.
Google is the creation of Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The two were Ph.D. students at Stanford University. Their mission: “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” The two doctoral candidates got their first funding from Sun Microsystem’s co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim, $100,000 in August 1998, before it was even incorporated on September 4, 1998. Less than a year later, in June 1999, major investors contributed $25 million.
Five years later, Google’s initial public offering (IPO) took place in August 2004 in a unique online auction format. More than 19 million shares were offered at $85 a share. The sale of $1.67 billion gave Google a market capitalization of more than $23 billion. The vast majority of the 271 million shares remained under Google control. Many Google employees became instant paper millionaires. Its competitor, Yahoo!, benefitted, because it owned 8.4 million shares before the IPO took place. Google began selling advertisements associated with search keywords, against Page & Brin’s initial opposition toward an advertising-funded search engine.
The Google web search engine is the dominant search engine in the US market, with a 65.6% market share. Google indexes billions of web pages so that users can search for the keywords they desire. Its web search technology has been employed into other search services: Image Search, Google News, Google Product Search (a price comparison site), Google Maps, Google Earth, and more. Advertising on Google provides 99% of its revenue, with a reported $10.492 billion in total advertising revenues for the 2006 fiscal year. Gmail is a free webmail service provided by Google. The service currently offers over 7400 MB of free storage with additional storage available for a fee. Google Translate handles 35 different languages. Picasa allows users to share photos. Then there’s YouTube. Providing all of this internet service are Google’s 24 server farms around the world of various configurations. It has 17 offices in the U.S., including The Dalles, Oregon; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Google executive compensation has allowed them to become investors in other start-ups. Former top executives now head other tech companies. YouTube’s former chief financial officer, Google’s former vice president of global online sales, and a high ranking engineer, all left Google to join Facebook. A program manager and senior specialist co-founded Twitter.
Ultra High Speed Internet Can Revolutionize the Way We Live
The ultra high speed internet makes possible breakthroughs in many areas Hawaii must confront, such as revitalizing the economy. Cloud computing lowers the cost of starting up a business by eliminating the high cost of purchasing hardware and software by transferring these to an off-site provider. The reduced initial investment will make it possible for more entrepreneurs to become business owners. Without servers to cool, less air conditioning is required. The savings in IT infrastructure and electricity lowers a business’s operating expenses, helping keep them profitable.
Remote medicine will make it possible for rural residents to receive specialist consultations without flying to Oahu. The high quality visual images and sound transmission can enable doctors to view the same records simultaneously so they can discuss treatment plans. It may not always be feasible for doctors to take time off from a busy practice to learn new techniques, but with ultra high speed internet, many physicians can learn from the same teleconference. High quality images with continuous sound will allow doctors to learn procedures in entirety and ask questions to keep their medical training current.
Telework is another concept that can come to life. Working from home via internet connection takes workers off the crowded highways, relieving traffic congestion. With education, live video webcasting will allow more teachers to participate in professional development because with no more transportation costs to pay, more education dollars can be used for registering teachers for courses to help them learn the most current, effective instructional methods.
These are just a few of the ways that ultra high speed broadband can change the way we do things. Being selected as a test site could be an exciting opportunity for Hawaii. Let’s show our support by signing the online petition. Google, aloha, hele mai.
Posted by Hawaii Senate Majority Caucus