And then the pigs, they did fly.


Hold on to your french fry-topped whatevers, Burghers, because no, I am actually NOT going to LOLcaption that picture with “Im in ur internetz, roulettin ur chat,” or “Im in ur interwebz, lookin at bewbs.”

Because, on this one, I’m on Lukey’s side.  I’m so much on his side that he and I could skip arm in arm down the yellow brick road to Oz.

Google, who you know I love like a pierogi loves a cheesy-potato mixture, is looking for a few cities in which to lay some majorly awesome techy super duper fast Internet doohickey thingamabob, technically speaking.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said Wednesday that Pittsburgh would build on the pioneering legacy of George Westinghouse and Jonas Salk by luring a super-fast Internet system to the city, and he urged residents to help him make the case with Google.

Google, the Internet search engine, is seeking test cities for the ultra-high-speed broadband network it’s developing.

Mr. Ravenstahl said Google’s project could make the Internet 100 times faster than it is now, something that could transform education, health care, business and everyday life in a test city.

I want I want I want I want!

Google already has an office here filled with lots of adorable and hard workers with giant monitors and a dessert bar complete with huge chunks of chocolate. [sigh]

Where was I?


Pittsburgh is a pioneer in Internet connectivity for the people.  Our airport gets regular raves on twitter for its free wifi and Pittsburgh was one of the first cities in America to offer free downtown wifi.  We are all about the easy access to the surfing of the Intertubes. N’at.  This is a natural next step.

Perhaps the most important thing is this: community support will play a role in the cities Google selects.  Are you kidding me?  Come on, Pittsburgh.  We got this.

Community support is what we do.  It’s who we are.  It’s our people and our neighborhoods and our state of mind.

Community support is why the transplant floor at Children’s Hospital is going to be outfitted to the nines, as they say, with XBOXs and laptops and games and movies and love.  Community support is what saved BRESMA.

So what we need to do to voice our community’s support is go to this website Pittsburgh Goes Google and scroll down and click one of the options.  I chose to voice my support and here’s what I wrote:

Because Google already has built a relationship with Pittsburgh and has already made a long term commitment to the city.  Because Pittsburgh and its people support this effort.  Because Pittsburgh was, is, and always will be a pioneer.

It’s your turn now. Go on. Git.  I’ll be here when you get back, probably asking Luke, “Brain or heart?”


  1. Tina
    March 19, 2010 10:52 am

    WAIT … you guys have free downtown wifi?????
    Could you please make Mr. Ravenstahl talk to Mr. Ude (Major of Munich, Germany, where I live and where they are now celebrating themselves, because now mobile phone connection is available in some party of the underground)? I want downtown wifi, too!!!!

  2. Sooska
    March 19, 2010 10:55 am

    shouldn’t Lukey be taxing the bits and bytes of free downtown Wi-Fi?


  3. Jake
    March 19, 2010 11:21 am

    So did Lukey declare an infrastructure emergency so that he could get that website built on a no-bid contract?

  4. one-eyed dick
    March 19, 2010 11:36 am

    Maybe if Mayor Late-enstahl would watch Sally Wiggins a little more tnan Spongebob, he would have thought of mounting this campaign (as opposed to mounting ski bunnies at Seven Springs) some weeks ago. It’s the middle of the 4th quarter and you’re trailing by two touchdowns. Not saying it can’t be done, but it will take some heroics to pull it off (and Ben is, ummm, “distracted.”)

    Grand Rapids, MI, supposedly is well in the lead, followed by other high-tech spots like Topeka, KS and Duluth, MN. Not wanting to miss a chance in the limelight, Sarasota has jumped on the Google wagon, as well.

    Topeka renamed their town “Google”, the mayor of Duluth took a winter dip in Lake Superior and is offering to name all first born children after Google and Sarasota’s mayor, Dick Clapp (old Corey Jo Fuck ain’t got nothin’ on us!), just went swimming with the sharks:

    One can only wonder what kind of stunt Ravenstahl will come up with. Maybe you could help….

  5. spoon
    March 19, 2010 11:43 am

    Someone may wanna let Lukey know that the geeks who bring us google to da burgh also love those drinks in mass quantities he wants to tax.

    that aside, can you image how much faster porn will be and downloading your favorite Should I Drink that episode? AMAZING! The cbs online feed of their games can look uber shitty fast now too!

    Bucco fans, you wont have to wait to process your ticket buying power by being bogged down with 80 different things going on at once. Super Duper Fast Bucco Ticket Buying Power awaaaaayyyy!

    Is lent over yet? I need a steak. I’m getting delusional

  6. Noelle
    March 19, 2010 12:01 pm

    Thank you Ginny!!!! All your fans at Carnegie Mellon University <3 you.

  7. bluzdude
    March 19, 2010 12:12 pm

    Lukey is indeed a little late on the draw. city officials been trying to lure the Google here to Baltimore for months… the mayor appointed a special Google Czar a couple weeks ago.

    Of course if we did get the Google, someone would probably steal it. Or spraypaint it.

  8. Pensgirl
    March 19, 2010 12:29 pm

    The link doesn’t work. I googled the name (see, Google, how much we need you?) and turns out it’s not supposed to have the “www.”

  9. Darlene
    March 19, 2010 3:12 pm

    They Mayor’s office put out the first press release on this on Feb. 12… just sayin.

  10. Carol
    March 19, 2010 3:19 pm

    I love the Pittsburgh lawn chair at the bottom, reserving the space for Google. lol!

  11. tinyski
    March 19, 2010 4:15 pm

    The guy in the picture looks alot like Barney Stinson from “How I met your Mother”…

  12. Luke Steelerstahl
    March 19, 2010 6:46 pm

    Sorry I’m late guys, but I didn’t steal this idea from Peduto now.

    I’ll try to steal his ideas earlier from now on.

  13. Luke Steelerstahl
    March 19, 2010 6:48 pm

    …from Peduto UNTIL now.

    Without Joanna typing for me I’m not very good with the words n’at.

  14. CarolineFB
    March 19, 2010 8:40 pm


  15. Bojack
    March 19, 2010 8:56 pm

    Anyone care to explain how anyone besides CMU will be able to access this?

    I mean we can’t even get Fios OK’d to at least be able to talk shit to Comcast.

  16. Sofa King
    March 19, 2010 10:24 pm

    This seems like a great idea, but IMHO, I think this is more or less a publicity stunt by Google, and, if it isn’t, it’s unlikely that they’d deploy something of this scale in a city as large as Pittsburgh. Sarasota, Duluth, and Topeka seem like more likely test subjects.

    Google has no infrastructure and no support staff or experience in high-speed data. Unless they have somehow struck a sweetheart deal with Verizon or Comcast to lease their fiber (extremely unlikely), they either have to piecemeal their network together with dark fiber or build their own network, which would take years in a city the size of Pittsburgh.

    Again, great idea, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

  17. bucdaddy
    March 20, 2010 12:32 am

    How fast does it really need to be? Isn’t there a point of diminishing returns?

  18. summerblue
    March 20, 2010 8:15 am

    facebooked it and commented for it. i think it can be a great idea

  19. Joe K.
    March 20, 2010 9:48 am

    Not to be a Luddite but…

    do we NEED more information?

    Garbage in and garbage out.

  20. Politicalpartypooper
    March 20, 2010 11:23 am

    What if one of the criteria is a winning Major League Baseball team?

  21. butcher's dog
    March 21, 2010 11:08 am

    @partypooper #20: we got that covered, ’cause THIS IS THE YEAR! Read “The Whistling Irishman” to find out how!

  22. HorshoeBend
    March 21, 2010 2:56 pm

    OT: Beautiful Day. The pigeons are in full bloom – think Mel Brooks in High Anxiety.

  23. USCMike
    March 22, 2010 8:00 am

    Great picture, but it’s missing the caption:

    “Hey Yarone, where’s the damn ‘Any’ key!?”

  24. Sofa King
    March 22, 2010 1:13 pm

    Yes, bucdaddy, you are right. For most casual internet users, that point is around 20 mbps, or slightly faster than what Fios and Comcast currently offer in their basic package. Unless they are running a media server or have 50 computers networked and in continual use at their house, 99% of people won’t notice a difference between 10 mbps and 1000 mbps.

  25. Bram R
    March 22, 2010 1:16 pm

    That had to photograph him as he was hammering away at the “delete” key. Look at it.

    “Shoot. I wrote ‘Steelerstahl’ again!”

    Yes, Pittsburgh would go stellar in no time if it was covered in state-of-the-art Google Fiber. Go to that Pittsburgh Goes Google site and vote for it, people. If you’re from nearby suburbia, ask for them to cover the whole immediate region! I WANT THIS!!!

  26. Brian R
    March 22, 2010 3:54 pm

    So the reason to limit internet capacity is because most people aren’t currently using enough to justify it?

    Why not look at it this way: Having the ability to access more information at greater speeds will allow for more progress in the future. Don’t bog yourself down looking at the now, ten or twenty years from now, what if videos and games are ten or 100 times larger, how would we be able to deal with it at current capacity?

    Don’t hold yourself behind the curve.

  27. David Passmore
    March 23, 2010 6:55 pm

    The region would really benefit from the introduction of a new player in the broadband market. Comcast and Verizon would have to reassess their consumer strategies, which are currently designed to take advantage of a captive, static market.

    There is a great opportunity to further define Pittsburgh as an emerging tech center – something that benefits the entire region. The more that Google and the many regional tech innovators prove to be possible in Pittsburgh, the more that others will choose to do the same. More tech jobs in the city will spur more financial activity of all kinds – more vitality, more business, more residency. It’s not as if heavy manufacturing is going to return to the area. We have to aspire towards a new horizon or we will forever look inwards and downwards.

    No mid-size city can make use of Google Fiber like we can. Google is no longer a search engine company – it is a data innovation company. Pittsburgh can really help with this. We can make this thing sing, and the rewards will be lasting.

  28. Sofa King
    March 23, 2010 8:00 pm

    Brian, in 20 years, the Comcasts and Verizons of the world will be at or beyond 1 Gig. Both have increased their speeds considerably of late, and both have plans to expand their bandwidth even more so in the coming months.

    David, the reason Comcast and Verizon own the market is because they own the infrastructure…the fiber optic cable and physical plant required to transmit data. Google owns no infrastructure ANYWHERE and would have to invest countless millions of dollars and several years to build out such a plant in an area the size of Pittsburgh. Hell, Verizon’s been here for years, and it’s still going to take them 6 years to offer FiOS to the whole city.

    Also, Google has no support staff experienced in or qualified to run such an operation, so unless their plan includes buying out an existing mid-sized telecom company, I stand by my assertion that this is just a publicity stunt. Or, if they are serious about doing this, I really think they’re overreaching and it could turn into a debacle for them.

    Hell, I have a Droid phone, and Google doesn’t even have sufficient support staff to answer any questions when a problem arises.

  29. David Passmore
    March 23, 2010 11:59 pm

    Google does indeed own infrastructure. The company has been acquiring “dark” (unused) fiber since 2005. A job posting on their site in January 2005 contained the following:

    “Google is looking for Strategic Negotiator candidates with experience in…(i)dentification, selection, and negotiation of dark fiber contracts both in metropolitan areas and over long distances as part of development of a global backbone network.”

    Also, since 2008, Google’s Senior VP and CFO is Patrick Pichette, a former President of Operations at Bell Canada, who is credited with moving that company onto a modern all Internet protocol network.

    It seems there is much evidence that they a) have already acquired a lot of infrastructure, and b) have moved strategically to gain telecom experience in the organization. I agree with you that the network might not be in place instantaneously, should we be lucky enough to win, but it might be closer than you seem to think.

  30. Elsie Broussard
    March 26, 2010 1:15 pm

    Google is a must. Collaboration can only move us forward.