EFF-Austin, working with the LBJ School of Public Affairs in Austin, is helping organize the Texas Government 2.0 Camp on January 28-29 at the Austin Community College Eastview Campus. You can see more about the event here: http://txgov20.org/
“The Texas Government 2.0 Camp will bring together leading thinkers from all levels of government, academia, media and industry to explore the best ways to make Open Government work for everyone. They will share initiatives already in progress and collaborate on how to leverage social media tools and Web 2.0 technologies to create a more collaborative, efficient and effective government. Though the possibilities seem endless, resources are often in short supply and by harnessing the power of new technologies governments do more than ever before.”
Google just announced that they plan on rolling out a 1Gbps fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) Internet access service in a number of trial locations. To give some perspective, a 1Gbps Internet access service would be over 65 times faster than Time Warner Cable’s fastest Road Runner tier available in Austin and over 165 times faster than AT&T’s fastest available DSL tier. According to the company’s policy blog, Google wants to build out the super high-speed fiber network for between 50,000 and 500,000 people and to operate it as an open access network, open to all competitors that want to offer FTTH service. Now, Google is trying to figure out where to build this network and is looking for city nominations.
Austin, as a tech hub and an Internet-savvy community, would be a fantastic test bed for this FTTH experiment. Austinites are highly connected and sophisticated Internet users and would perfect beta testers for super high-speed service. Also, with the city’s two major Internet Access Providers (AT&T and Time Warner Cable) experimenting with usage caps and metered service, the city may soon need just such an uncapped high-speed alternative service.