GBC’s Fry: Baltimore chooses substance over style to lure Google

Don Fry Commentary on WYPR

Baltimore City is aggressively competing for a major economic development opportunity that will create jobs and bring substantial new private investment to the city.

But this is not the usual effort to lure a big new plant or corporate headquarters to the city. It’s something even bigger – Google…

… Google fiber, that is.

Baltimore’s political, technology, and business leaders are pulling out all the stops to convince Google executives that Baltimore is the perfect place to install Googles’ new high-speed fiber-optic cable.

Google is seeking to identify key cities for it to install, at its own expense, up to $1 billion in fiber optic infrastructure that offers cyberspace speeds 100-times faster than now experienced by most internet users. .

Cities across the country are scrambling to get Google’s attention. One midwest city even changed its name to “Google” for the month.

Baltimore, to its credit, is not resorting to gimmicks to get Google’s attention. It’s going with a pitch that emphasizes substance over style. Everyone recognizes the competitive advantage that a state-of-the-art fiber optic infrastructure would bring to any city. But the fact is, Baltimore is a perfect fit for this project.

Our city is already the hub for a technology-rich business sector driven by one of the nation’s most highly-educated and tech-savvy workforces. Baltimore is also a top knowledge center. For instance, its world-renowned science and technology institutions attract the most research funding in the country.

For information on Baltimore’s Google bid, go to

Not only do our elected and city leaders recognize the major positive impact Google’s high-speed fiber could have on culture and quality of life, but this community knows the business value this kind of access and speed brings to an information-driven marketplace.

For Google, Baltimore is the right place at the right time. Let’s hope Google agrees.

For the Regional Business Report, this is Don Fry, President and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee, for 88.1 WYPR, your NPR news station.


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