Meeting about Merced's Google fiber campaign scheduled for Friday

March 4, 2010 

Merced County is hosting a public discussion today about a regional effort to apply for Google's recently announced fiber network that would offer Internet speeds up to 100 times faster than what most users have access to today.

The meeting will begin with a presentation about the proposed network. Afterward, there'll be a discussion by members of local government and education agencies. The city of Merced announced last week that it was preparing a joint application with Merced County, UC Merced, Merced College and local school districts.

Friday's discussion should help local leaders form a plan about how to proceed with the application, said Mark Hendrickson, director of Merced County's Department of Commerce, Aviation and Economic Development.

Google announced in February that it would build and test ultra-high-speed broadband networks in trial communities around the U.S. The company encouraged local government agencies and private citizens to apply. The application period ends March 26.

The meeting is scheduled for 11 a.m. today at Castle Commerce Center, 2507 Heritage Drive in Atwater. For information, call (209) 385-7686.

Online editor Brandon Bowers can be reached at (209) 385-2464 or