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Google, Kansas: Topeka Mayor Renames City In Bid To Win Google Broadband

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Hoping to improve the city's chances of being the test site for Google's ultra-fast broadband experiment, the Mayor of Topeka, Kansas has issued a proclamation that his city be known as 'Google, Kansas--the capital city of fiber optics' for the month of March.

As Topeka's name cannot legally be temporarily changed to 'Google,' the proclamation instead calls on residents to refer to the city as 'Google' for the duration of March.

Topeka Mayor Bill Bunten credits a local news personality Jim Ogle with the idea of a temporary name change. The CJOnline writes,

Ogle told the council Monday about how Mayor Joan Wagnon in August 1998 issued a proclamation temporarily changing Topeka's name to "ToPikachu" in recognition of the nationwide kickoff here of the "Pokemon" media franchise, which features a fictional species of creatures named "Pikachu."

Ogle said that if Topeka could change its name "for a small doll that sounds like I sneezed," it could certainly do the same for Google.

The hope is that the 'Google, Kansas' proclamation will help distinguish Topeka from other cities vying to be chosen by Google to try out the ultra-fast broadband network the company will be testing.

The Associated Press reports:
A campaign to make Topeka a test site for a new, ultrafast Internet service is gathering speed.

Google Inc. announced plans Feb. 10 to build and test new high-speed broadband networks in one or more places around the country. The company says the system of fiber-optic cables would deliver Internet connections 100 times faster than most systems now available.

Over the past week, Topeka city officials have announced they're completing Google's request for information from potential trial communities. The City Council has indicated that it's behind the effort.

And a group called "Think Big Topeka" is campaigning to build community and government support.

Google has given communities a March 26 deadline to submit the completed requests for information.

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