Oak Lawn vies for Google high-speed network

March 9, 2010 8:29:22 PM PST
The Village of Oak Lawn wants to go high tech. Village board members encouraged residents Tuesday night to support a pitch to bring a new Google network to the southwest suburbs.

"This is the kind of thing that really could put Oak Lawn on the map. When I say there's a potential for being the Silicon Valley of the Midwest or at least the Greater Chicagoland area, I think that opportunity certainly does present itself," said Tom Duhig, village trustee.

Google is apparently looking to install a fiber optic network up to 100 times faster than typical broadband for up to 500,000 residents. Now, towns across the country are competing to the host of the Google experiment including the village of Oak Lawn.

An island off Florida's Gulf Coast temporarily changed its name to 'Google Island' trying to get Google's attention. Topeka Kansas is now Google Kansas....at least for March. And Oak Lawn has some local competition. Peoria just unveiled a song trying to win the Google project.

Oak Lawn board members say they have partnered with Advocate Christ Medical Center to campaign for Google's new network. Board members say the faster network can save lives when the technology is used in health care.

"I can't think that it could ever be too fast. If can't be too fast when you're talking about your own life or the life of your loved ones," said Dave Heilmann, village president.

Oak Lawn has until March 26 to submit a formal application to Google. In the meantime, residents are encouraged to get creative to show Google that Oak Lawn is the right place for the new network.