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For April Fools Day, Google Changes Name to Topeka

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In a geeky and humorous move today, Google honored Topeka, Kansas for its desperate-yet-silly action it took last month to get the internet search giant's attention. In February, Google--err, Topeka--announced intentions to "test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the United States." A handful of chosen cities, with populations 50,000 to 500,000 (that means Los Angeles as a whole is out), will be given "Internet speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have access to today with 1 gigabit per second, fiber-to-the-home connections." So what did Topeka do? The city changed its name to Google. Yeah, really (okay, it was just an informal name change for the month of March).

This is a private infrastructure project going to the public in the way government's pilot ideas out. For their own needs, Google wants to see how to best deploy their fiber networks. For the community at large, they want to see "what developers and users can do with ultra high-speeds, whether it's creating new bandwidth-intensive 'killer apps' and services, or other uses we can't yet imagine."

Locally, some smaller local cities have their eyes on this project. For example, Santa Monicans made the crazy video embedded below, Long Beach began a snail mail campaign, and Glendale launched a better looking Google-wooing webpage than their own city hall one for residents.