Gaga for Google Broadband

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Jared Starkey is going all out for Google broadband. The day after Google (GOOG) said it would provide high-speed Internet access to as many as 500,000 people around the U.S., Starkey set up a Facebook page to lobby Google to bring the service to his hometown, Topeka, Kan. Since then, Starkey has passed out bright-orange necklaces made of the kind of fiber-optic cable used to deliver fast Web connections and rallied 100 people to show up at a downtown redevelopment meeting wearing T-shirts that play on Google’s motto for the broadband plan. “I’ve been talking to absolutely everybody about this,” says Starkey, owner of a small Web-design company.

Broadband-starved cities and towns across the country are going to great lengths to grab the attention of Mountain View (Calif.)-based Google, which in February said it will set up a network that can deliver speeds of 1 gigabit per second, about 20 times faster than the speediest ones sold by Verizon Communications (VZ). Google will spend “hundreds of millions” on the effort, Richard Whitt, Google’s Washington telecom and media counsel, said in a recent interview with Bloomberg News.

Full story: Gaga for Google Broadband – BusinessWeek