1,000-Acre Satellite Farm in Council Bluffs Incites Speculation, FTTH Hopes
Technology news has been buzzing this week with rumors that Google is setting itself up to enter the video market in conjunction with its Kansas City FTTH project. Google filed an application with the FCC to build a massive, 1,000-acre satellite farm near its current massive data center property in Council Bluffs, Iowa. However, FierceTelecom notes that Google “has remained tight lipped about what it will include” in its FTTH service package…But why else would Google need a 1,000-acre satellite farm in reasonably close proximity to Kansas City, capable of providing “a mix of analog and digital audio, data and video services?”
As the tech community continues to speculate on what may or may not be happening in that large empty lot in Council Bluffs near the Missouri River, the state of Iowa is probably thinking about the jobs that this project might create. According to the Des Monies Register, “The project would likely create dozens of construction jobs, but fewer long-term maintenance jobs.” Council Bluffs businesses and residents are apparently getting their hops up that Google might serve the community with FTTH, too: “The real economic potential is whether a large satellite farm would make Council Bluffs a leading contender for Google’s next investment in its high-speed fiber-optic network...’If that satellite array is feeding Kansas City, you might think that the Omaha-Council Bluffs area might be higher on the priority list’ of getting Google’s hyper-fast Internet service.” Even if Council Bluffs doesn’t get Google FTTH, the endeavor is not a total wash for Iowans. Google’s 2007 $800m data center investment was “the largest capital investment in the state’s history.” If the proposed satellite farm is any indication, it would appear that Google has been happy with its Iowa location—meaning that future investments, jobs and innovation shouldn’t be ruled out even if Google doesn’t immediately deploy FTTH in the area.