Cities stage wild stunts to woo Google's free high-speed network - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Cities stage wild stunts to woo Google's free high-speed network

(NBC) - What would you do for faster Internet? Brave icy waters? Swim with sharks?

You'd have to come up with something more original because those have already been done by mayors trying to bring Google's new ultra high speed fiber to their town.

Friday is the deadline to submit applications to Google and you might not believe just how creative this contest got.

From Pasadena to what they're playing in Peoria it seems there is no limit to what America will do for faster Internet.

When Google announced it was accepting entries to wire test communities with one gig per second, Internet officials jumped in, literally.  From a wintry dip in Lake Superior to swimming with the sharks in Sarasota, it quickly became an all out battle for Google's attention. 

Officials asked for public help and hundreds of videos popped up on YouTube.

Everything from ice cream to the entire city of Topeka has been, at least temporarily, re-named Google.  But while it's all good in fun, it's also big business. 

One gig per second is 100 times faster than the Internet most people have now and is enough bandwidth to download a movie in just five minutes. 

So from the off key to the offbeat, cities have spent the last few weeks spelling out their pitches before Friday's deadline.

Big names and big guns were brought in, even a manatee but ultimately it's up to Google to decide who gets the golden ticket.

Google has not said when it would make its decision. 

The company only says it will offer the test service at a competitive price to as many as half a million people.

Copyright 2010 NBC. All rights reserved.

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