SLO agog over Google

Tribune photo by David Middlecamp

About 200 people turned out Tuesday night in a show of support meant to convince Google that San Luis Obispo should become a trial city for the search-engine giant’s next technological experiment.

As part of the “Bring Fiber to San Luis Obispo” initiative, the residents, with smart phones and signs in hand, filled Mission Plaza at the “Make SLO Faster Meetup.”

If San Luis Obispo is chosen as one of Google’s trial locations, ultra-high-speed broadband networks would be set up and would allow residents to access the Internet more than 100 times faster than they can now, according to Google.

Amy Kardel is the co-founder of Clever Ducks, a computer network consulting business. She organized and moderated the event.

“Having Google Fiber come to SLO would make the city a test bed for more advanced technologies,” Kardel said. “It is an opportunity that no other communities would have, and it would differentiate SLO economically.”

The event’s attendees listened to local entrepreneurs and information technology experts share their thoughts about what Google Fiber would mean for San Luis Obispo.

One speaker encouraged community members to reach out to Google by sending text messages. The group took out their smart phones and texted “SLO” to 466453. David Garth, president and CEO of the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce, said the city has a good chance of becoming one of Google’s trial locations.

“We’re right for Google Fiber because Cal Poly has a worldwide reputation in the technology world, and there are many people in this community that embrace new types of technology,” Garth said. “San Luis Obispo residents will find the best way to utilize the advantages of Google Fiber, which are still unknown.”

On March 26, the Mountain View-based company is expected to announce the trial location for its Google Fiber project, which will offer service to between 50,000 and 500,000 people.