After all that hoopla of cities vying to get Google’s first—free!—ultra high-speed broadband network (you know, cities renaming themselves "Google," mayors swimming with sharks), it turns out that the company is bestowing those riches on none other than its next-door neighbor: Stanford University.
Technically, it’s just a beta. Writing on The Official Google Blog, product manager James Kelly says, "This trial is completely separate from our community selection process for Google Fiber…. Stanford’s Residential Subdivision—our first ‘beta’ deployment to real customers—will be a key step towards that goal."
Kelly says Google chose the Residential Subdivisions, a group of 850 faculty- and staff-owned homes on the university’s campus, as their test community because of Stanford’s willingness to let them experiment with new fiber technologies on its streets. "The layout of the residential neighborhoods and small number of homes make it a good fit for a beta deployment," Kelly writes. And the fact that it was just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from the Googleplex, home to the engineers working on the network, wasn’t insignificant either.
Ground on the Stanford trial breaks early next year. Meanwhile, the process of selecting the first official Google Fiber community continues apace. Kelly says a winner, or winners, will be announced in the coming months.