US city changes its name to Google

When Google announced it would connect the US city of Topeka with a 1gbps fibre network for free, the mayor promptly renamed the city “Google” for the month of March.

The internet firm has been trialling a 50,000-user 1gbps fibre optic network as part of its “Think Big With A Gig” project.

Now the company is looking for towns in which to deploy more networks, each for between 50,000 and 500,000 people, and the result is a manic competition between America’s mayors.

One city, Duluth, made a mock proclamation that all males born in the town would be christened “Google Fibre”.

Another town invented a flavour of ice-cream dubbed “Google Fibre”.

Other mayors have gone in for stunts including swimming in a tankful of sharks, jumping out of planes and swimming in an iced-up lake – all to draw attention to their bid to win the Google offer.

Described by some commentators as great way to kick-start fibre deployment to the home, Downtime wonders whether Boris Johnson would be willing to jump off Tower Bridge if Google made the same offer in London.