Google is now a little place in Kansas

Posted Mar 2, 2010 by Cory Roach
People say that technology is taking over the world. Well in this case, it's a start to that. Topeka, Kansas has renamed itself Google temporarily.
The city formerly known as Topeka  Kansas
The city formerly known as Topeka, Kansas
Bill Bunten, the mayor of Topeka, has decided to change his city's name for a month. "It's just fun. We're having a good time of it," he said of the unofficial name change, which will last through the end of March. "There's a lot of good things that are going on in our city."
This odd change is due to different U.S. cities trying to get their own spot in Google's new Fiber for Communities program. Google is going to install new Internet connections in unannounced locations, giving those communities Internet speeds 100 times faster than those elsewhere, with data transfer rates faster than one gigabit per second.
"We'll offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people," Google says in an online post. They also have said that U.S. Internet speeds are falling behind the standard, and they want to fix things by installing new broadband cable.
According to recent reports  Google is looking to get into the cellphone market with the launch of a...
According to recent reports, Google is looking to get into the cellphone market with the launch of a Google-branded phone. - Photo illustration by Digital Journal
Bunten believes that faster Internet connections would inspire young people to stay around and would encourage business development for the small city. But Bunten laughed at the idea that he might make the name switch permanent if Google decides to invest in his 123,400-person city's Internet network.
"Oh, heavens no, Topeka?" he said during a phone interview. "We are very proud of our city and Topeka is an Indian word which means 'a good place to grow potatoes.' We're not going to change that." Of course not! Why would anyone want to change that name? Especially when they don't even harvest potatoes there anymore. Now they definitely can't permanently change it!
Temporarily changing Topeka's name to Google, Kansas may seem like something to just draw attention. Well it very well may be! Bunten says the idea hopefully will bring Topeka a hipper future. "To have this high-speed where people can sit down and have lunch and still keep working is a positive for young people," he said. "The young people are the ones that caught onto this and go to the Internet and asked people in the city to sign on as supporting Google coming to Topeka."
Well now, at least in the meantime, Google really has come to Topeka. It has actually become Topeka, literally.
There's many cities trying to get their spot in this Fiber for Communities program and Topeka has probably bumped there way up close to the top of the list with this stunt.