Statement at the "Big Gig Austin" Press Conference

Statement by Chip Rosenthal
"Big Gig Austin" Press Conference
March 9, 2010

I'm Chip Rosenthal. I'm the chair of the Austin Community Technology and Telecommunications Commission. One of our jobs is to advise the City on what the people of Austin want for technology services. I'm here today to say that the people of Austin want Google to select Austin for their gigabit trial network project.

Within hours of the Google announcement, there were flurries of emails and tweets all across Austin. People were asking our city leaders to respond to the Google proposal – and they have. The Mayor and City Council have unanimously passed a resolution to submit a response to Google. City Manager Marc Ott and city staff have been working aggressively to produce a response that documents why Austin is the best place in the nation for Google to build their gigabit network.

That's what the people of Austin have asked for. And that's what the City is doing. That's great – but it's not enough.

This is not a standard company recruitment effort. The City isn't offering any economic incentives to Google. The City can't – and Google doesn't want them anyways.

What Google wants is a community that will step forward and make the project a success. That's not something the Mayor can do, and that's not something the Chamber of Commerce can do. That's something that only we the people – the broadband citizens of Austin – can do.

Austin is both a technological and a cultural creative center for our country. Broadband communications is the convergence point for those two endeavors. Google is looking for a community to demonstrate what amazing, innovative, and creative things people will do with gigabit broadband. We need to show them that they will find that, right here, in Austin.

So, to tell our story, today we are unveiling the BigGigAustin.org website. The website offers everybody in the community a chance to participate and help tell Google why they should come to Austin. If you visit that site, you will find out how you can submit your nomination to make Austin the home for the Google big gigabit network. We also have apps to collect innovative uses for gigabit broadband, as well as a mapping survey to show Google where our community support lies.

So I ask that everybody who wants to bring the Google gigabit network to Austin, please visit BigGigAustin.org and submit your nomination.

The Austin Community Technology and Telecommunications Commission is going to hold a public forum this Wednesday, March 10 at 7 pm in City Hall. We have invited several speakers who will discuss what this project means to Austin. We also are asking the public to participate, and come speak on what they would do with a gigabit network, and give us ideas on how to tell our story to Google.

Google is collecting nominations up until March 26. Please visit BigGigAustin.org and submit your nomination to bring Google's big gigabit network to Austin.