Google envy could lead to 'Petagoogluma'

The thought of renaming Petaluma "Petagoogluma" briefly crossed the minds of the city's technology committee in its bid to become the winner of Google's super high-speed Internet contest.

"While that didn't necessarily have legs, it did show the creativity that's going on behind the scenes in getting this message out," City Councilman Mike Harris said.

Petaluma and Santa Rosa are among more than 120 communities across the nation using methods both wacky and serious to win Google's offer to provide an ultra-fast Internet network for residents in one or more American towns.

SMART, Sonoma-Marin rail representatives, are also working on an application, arguing that a 70-mile right-of-way through the two counties is a valuable asset.

As for renaming the town?

That's already been done, by Topeka, Kan., which officially renamed the city Google for the month of March.

Not to be outdone by its Midwest neighbors, Duluth, Minn. spoofed a press conference where it's heavily Scandinavian-accented "mayor" decreed that, yah, you betcha, every firstborn male in Duluth would henceforth be known as Google Fiber and firstborn females, of course, Googlette Fiber.

According to Google, the "Fiber for Communities" project is an experiment the company hopes will make Internet access better and faster for everyone.

Google plans to run optical fiber — the pavement upon which the information super-speedway travels — directly to homes in the chosen city or cities.

The speeds, as fast as one gigabit a second, would be fast enough to download an entire season of TV shows in about 30 seconds.

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