Is Google going to hyperwire Austin? Rumors abound. It would be a pretty smart place to roll out the next gigabit network city, especially since Austin lobbied hard and was passed over for Fiber in 2011.
We talked a while back about the "fiberhoods" springing up in Kansas City, the first area to get Google's gigabit network, Google Fiber. And last month Google announced they're expanding to Olathe, about 25 miles from Kansas City. Other gigabit network projects include Chattanooga's Gig City and Gig U., which is getting things going in North Carolina.
The development of gigabit cities is intriguing to me personally, because I'm a recovering addict and I have zero frustration tolerance; my drug of choice is more, faster. Instant gratification takes too long. My entire approach to the internet is 2 seconds or I'm leaving.
But it's not just that I want instant downloads and a better Netflix experience. It's that I believe that if you give people a playground, they tend to play. And even though so far nobody has the killer app for the gigabit network, ideas like instant universal translation and telemedicine are the kind of Star Trek futurisms that get me excited. The recent "Hacking the Gigabit City" event in Kansas City addressed projects like virtual software checkout from your local library and in-school telehealth services.
In the KC Startup Village, a hacker named Synthia Payne (how's that for a name from a 1990's Bruce Sterling novel?) is working on a project called Cyberjammer. (Click for retro 8-bit logo and a wee bit of info, no site launch yet!) Cyberjammer will let musicians jam together in real time all over other world. Distributed orchestras. You can read her UCSC MFA thesis on Telepresent Musical Improvisation here. Dang, girl!
And today is the app proposal deadline for the Development phase of the Mozilla Ignite Challenge. Mozilla and the National Science Foundation are sponsoring an open round of submissions for developers/app designers to create fiber-based gigabit apps and offering funding; who knows what will come out of it?