Video Fridays: Bellingham courts Google

In February, Google rolled out its Fiber for Communities initiative. And no, this is not a partnership with Whole Foods, aimed at promoting the health benefits of digestive fiber.

Says the Google:

    We plan to test ultra-high speed broadband networks in one or more trial locations across the country. Our networks will deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today, over 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections. We’ll offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.

    From now until March 26th, we’re asking interested municipalities to provide us with information about their communities through a Request for information (RFI), which we’ll use to determine where to build our network.

Well, it seems that our fair City of Bellingham is pulling out all the stops to try and lure Google to the City of Subdued Excitement.

First, they dedicated a page on the city website to the effort, then they built a VERY snazzy Web 2.0-ish bring-it-to-Bellingham site, and now they’ve released the video below, which also happens to be incredibly well-done.

I think that, from an economic development standpoint, it would be a very good thing for Bellingham to be chosen by Google as a pilot community. I’m on the fence as to whether or not Bellingham would be better served by funneling this type of creative energy and resource into sustainability efforts.

Perhaps it’s an interdependency thing. If Bellingham can attract more companies to locate here with a 1GB per second fiber infrastructure carrot and stick, maybe Bellingham can, through increased tax revenues, better afford to implement more sustainable practices.

We’ll see.

12 thoughts on “Video Fridays: Bellingham courts Google

  1. Unrelated to current post, but, my husband and I are looking to relocate to Bellingham, from Boulder, CO. Thanks for the honest insight into the area. It’s appreciated!

    1. Hi Rebekah,

      If you checked out some of my other posts, you might have seen another recent one that focused on the rain. I think it’s important that folks know the reality of the weather here, especially if coming from a sunny place like Boulder, but I wouldn’t want to overdramatize the weather either.

      The fact of the matter is that Bellingham wouldn’t be Bellingham without all the rain. We wouldn’t have gorgeous subtropical rain forests and a deeply rich culture of outdoor enthusiasts for whom the forests are a heavenly playground.

      Oh, and I also wrote recently about how wonderful our traditionally early springs are.

      Anyway, if it wasn’t clear in my “rain post,” the key to happiness in Bellingham is embracing the rain. Buy some good Gore-Tex gear and get outside rain or shine. Try to remember the joy you had as a child in a rain storm, stomping through the puddles.

      1. My husband I love the outdoors and are hopeful that our current lifestyle will fit well in Bellingham. I’m a runner/marathoner and the seemingly endless trails have certainly captured my attention.

        Yes, it may be a big adjustment moving from a city with 300 days of sunshine to one with 100 (is this accurate?), but we are willing to try!

        1. 100 days of sunshine, Rebekah? You know, in Boulder it might be easy to determine something like that. Perhaps there it’s mostly either sunny or not, which is what I’ve heard.

          Here, I’d have to ask what constitutes a day of sunshine.

          As I mentioned in a post last week, we have these things called sunbreaks, and for a lot of Bellinghamsters (yes, we sometimes refer to ourselves as such) a sunbreak is enough to constitute a day of sunshine, enough to justify running outside and dancing in the streets in celebration of our solar god. Summers are consistently dry and sunny, but we get a lot of sun in the early fall and there are the early springs I mentioned.

          Bottom line, if you are a marathoner and can endure running for 26 miles, with all the hardship that entails, I think you will be fine with the amount of rain we have here. The trails are indeed plentiful and wonderful, rain or shine.

          1. Yes, I’m sure the sunshine days are hard to define. Would you say that when the forecast does call for rain, it’s continually rainy all day? Or, is it off-and-on showers? I’m sure this is also hard to define and is likely dependent on the season.

            I like to hear there is a lot of sun in the summer. I’ve read that summer temps reach the 70’s and 80’s. What’s you opinion?

            Thanks for humoring me…
            Rebekah

          2. This is so cool. I feel like I work for the visitor’s bureau or chamber of commerce! 🙂

            Seriously, I’m happy to share my take on Bellingham.

            In my experience, it is rare that it will rain all day, but the clouds might stick around, and in the winter they might stick around for quite a few days in a row. That’s really what gets to some people. Not so much the rain as the absence of sunshine, hence the joyous event known as the sunbreak. (We had one today and I smiled, thinking of this discussion. It last a short time and then it started to drizzle while the sun was still shining, and naturally a rainbow appeared.)

            As for the summer, there are fewer places I’d rather be than right here in the Pacific Northwest and Whatcom County. At the Vernal Equinox on June 20th, we get daylight until just about 10pm, the days slowly shorten after that, but to have 4+ hours of sunny daylight after I’m off work at 5pm is HEAVENLY. Hiking/backpacking, camping, cycling, paddling, just hanging out at parks or at the beach, ferries to the San Juan Islands…it doesn’t get much better than that.

            I’d say that the temperatures you state are right on, but we do get an occasional heatwave, with temperatures in the 90s. Put it this way, I don’t know anyone personally who has air conditioning in their home, we get fans going occasionally, but it usually cools down comfortably at night.

  2. lol@ “city of subdued excitement.” the first line of support copy might be, “yes, it’s a great place, but we’re running a vitamin D deficiency, so bear with us.”

  3. Haha! Well, I’m glad you’re not put off by my questions. Or the fact that we’re carrying on this conversation via blog post, instead of PM’s. I couldn’t find an email address. Sorry!

    Your info regarding the weather is valuable. It’s pretty much what we’ve read but, you know you can’t believe everything that you read! I think getting the perspective of a resident is crucial.

    Do you have any other blog recommendations or must-reads from those in the area? Any direction you can point me for relocation? Aside from the Chamber of Commerce!

    Husband is an accountant and I’m a teacher. Currently working on my WA certification and keeping my eyes out for employment in BSD. With budget cuts nation wide (my current district in Boulder was hit hard), I do understand it may be difficult for me to find something right away.

    Thanks again for your help!

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