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Mayor Peduto is Pushing for Google Fiber in Pittsburgh

Could Pittsburgh be the fourth city in the nation to score the super-fast Internet?

Photo courtesy of Google


There’s nothing quite so soul-crushing and frustrating as receiving your monthly Verizon or Comcast bill and looking at the myriad bureaucratic fees and taxes that accompany your very mediocre Internet service.

Google wants to change all that. With Google Fiber, your Internet isn’t just 100 times faster than standard broadband — it also features TV/DVR service that comes with two terabytes of storage and lets you record up to eight shows at once. No more Sunday night DVR recording conflict anxiety!

There’s just one problem: Because of infrastructure and bureaucratic hurdles, Google Fiber currently is only offered in two pilot cities — Kansas City, Kan.; and Provo, Utah — with Austin, Texas, on the way.

Mayor Bill Peduto is lobbying to make Pittsburgh next on the list. An intrepid Redditor emailed Peduto about it recently and got this response:

"The Mayor has talked to Google and given their expansion in Pittsburgh there could be great opportunity to do this and other projects together. Nothing is set in stone and no commitments have been made but the discussion is ongoing."

We followed up with Mayor Peduto to find out more, and he explained:

“I met with Google's rep in Boston while I was at Harvard for Mayor School. We spoke about the possibility of Pittsburgh being a future location for Google Fiber — no commitments, no specific plans — just began the conversation in December. Over the next few months we will begin to have further conversations not only about Google Fiber but other ways we can partner with Google.”

There are challenges to outfitting a city like Pittsburgh, with its many hills and rivers, with fiber. However, the trifecta of the growing Google Pittsburgh office, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh makes it a perfect pilot city to truly test the benefits of hyper-fast internet on high-tech research and development.

Just look at what we could have. Be still, our digital heart.

C’mon, Google. We love you. In fact, let’s all send a nice box of Smiley cookies over to the kind folks at the Google Pittsburgh office in Bakery Square.

Here’s the address:
Attn: Google Pittsburgh
6425 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Make sure to include the message, “We want Fiber!”


#Community: Help turn a vacant Garfield apartment into a gallery space for visiting artists

As anyone who’s spent time at Unblurred knows, the East End’s burgeoning art community is close-knit and lovably DIY. It’s not exactly surprising, then, that a few intrepid Pittsburghers are taking this DIY approach a step further with the Bunker projects — a plan to turn a Garfield apartment into housing for visiting artists.

If that sounds like a plan you can get behind, you’re in luck: They've launched an Indiegogo campaign to help fund the efforts. The basic premise is simple: Pittsburgh is a great place for artists, and bringing new artists to local communities helps spread ideas and makes the arts scene even more vibrant.

To that end, they’re turning the second and third floors of the building into the ultimate bohemian digs, including an open-floor living space as well as work studios and a small gallery space for display.

The project currently is at $4,000 of its $10,000 goal with less than three weeks remaining. A $50 pledge gets you a sweet handmade tote bag.

— John Lavanga



#Photos: POTUS in Pittsburgh

Here’s President Obama signing the memorandum creating the myRA retirement savings account at U.S. Steel’s plant in West Mifflin on Wednesday afternoon. Photo via the White House Flickr.


#Sports: Consol Energy Center in the running to host future Women’s Final Four

This year is shaping up to be an exciting one for Pittsburgh’s women’s basketball fans. Pittsburgh is one of seven cities in the running to host a women’s basketball Final Four during 2017-2020. The NCAA currently is reviewing a joint bid from the University of Pittsburgh and Consol Energy Center.

The NCAA won’t announce the winning bids until November, but Consol may be ideally suited to host the women’s Final Four. Its 19,000 seats makes it just the right size to host the women’s championship, which requires a minimum of 18,000 seats to be considered.

While Duquesne women’s basketball heads into another winning season, this year has marked a couple of exciting “firsts” for the University of Pittsburgh’s team: its debut in the Atlantic Coast Conference and the first year under head coach Suzie McConnell-Serio (profiled in our February issue).

— Gideon Bradshaw

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