Google Looks at Southwest Florida's Charlotte County

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Charlotte County – one of the five counties that that make up the new Southwest Florida region – is considered a "true contender" for Google’s "Test Community".

Google, Inc. is planning to launch an experiment

Throughout the month of March, the Charlotte County EDO will be gathering information about this Southwest Florida community through a “Request for Information” (RFI), which Google will use to determine exactly where to create their network community.

According to the information received by Southwest Florida, “Google, Inc. is planning to launch an experiment” which they “hope will make Internet access better and faster for everyone.” Google “plans to test ultra-high speed broadband networks in one or more locations across the country.” They say their “networks will deliver Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than most Americans have access to today – over 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections” – and will “offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people,” potentially right here in the Southwest Florida region.

“This initiative could make Southwest Florida more attractive for business recruitment in the technology sector, create business expansion and higher-paying jobs, and have a positive impact on our overall quality of life,” said Kay Tracy, the Business Development Specialist for the Charlotte County EDO.

The Charlotte County Economic Development Office has been working closely with community organizations throughout the county and has seen a fabulous rally from citizen-led groups pooling community support. The EDO is still urging residents and business owners who have not yet participated in the county-wide survey – petitioning Google to consider Charlotte County to be the company’s “Test Community” – to complete the survey online as soon as possible.

According to Don Root, Director of the Charlotte County EDO, “While this initiative is directly aimed at bringing the business into our county, we expect a project with Google’s high-profile to help generate awareness for all of Southwest Florida."

The Southwest Florida Economic Development Partners include Collier, Charlotte, Glades, Lee and Sarasota counties – all of which are working together to foster the continued expansion of the region’s infrastructure, resources, intellectual and financial capital. Their unified goal is to ensure that Southwest Florida continues to be a brighter place to do business.

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Arlene Wright
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