Google Does a Search of its Own

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AP
Jumping into freezing cold water seemed like a good idea at the time - the Mayor of Duluth, Minn.,was trying to impress Google.

"You want Google fiber? You jump in Lake Superior," Mayor Don Ness said.

CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reports civic boosters across the country have been going to extremes - chanting, singing and marching - trying to get the search engine giant to look at their town. They're all hoping to be noticed.

The YouTube videos flooded in in response to Google's offer to wire one community with experimental ultra high-speed Internet.

"Google is realizing that a lot of the products that they want to push out there need people to have faster Internet to work," said Tom Merritt, executive editor of CNET.com.

In the lucky town that gets Google's fiber, the Internet will be so fast whole movies will download almost instantly - but the rest of us will still be stuck in the slow lane.

"It's going to drive me crazy," Merrit said. "I would like that speed right now, absolutely."

Google's goal is to see what can happen if traffic on the Internet starts moving much faster than it moves today. Not just twice as fast - not ten times faster - but a hundred times faster.

In its search for speed, Rancho Cucamongo, Calif., started calling itself Rancho Google-Monga. But Topeka, Kan., scored big when it claimed to change its name to Google, Kansas. Google then changed its name to Topeka - on April Fools' Day.

Google says in choosing a town for its gift later this year the videos will be just a small part of the decision. But singing the company's praises surely can't hurt.

  • John Blackstone

    From his base in San Francisco, CBS News correspondent John Blackstone covers breaking stories throughout the West. That often means he is on the scene of wildfires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and rumbling volcanoes. He also reports on the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley and on social and economic trends that frequently begin in the West.