The capital city of Kansas really, really wants Google to build it a high-speed broadband network. Indeed, rather than stick to the standard email campaigns and Facebook groups, its efforts to catch the search giant’s attention have extended to the mayor renaming Topeka "Google." At least temporarily.
This is no joke or repaint-the-town-sign prank. According to Tim Hrenchir, Topeka Mayor Bill Bunten consulted yesterday with all seven city council members and got their approval. Then he "signed a proclamation . . . calling for Topeka to be known for the month of March as ‘Google, Kansas – the capital city of fiber optics.’"
Considering that not a lot of other cities are likely to take this step (and now, they’ll look like copycats even if they do), it’s a good bet that this’ll earn Topeka big points in Google’s eyes.
As for the related Facebook group (because there is one of those, too), "Bring Google’s Fiber Experiment to Topeka!" has 10,717 members at the moment, and that number represents about 8.74 percent of Topeka’s population (according to 2007 census data). Which is rather impressive.
Anyway, Google’s supposed to keep collecting responses to its broadband network proposal until March 26th, and then the company should name its target communities later this year.