I'm a more or less "lurking member" of a large group of more or less business-focused participants in "Digital Nashville" -- it's a ning-based learning and sharing network led by Nashvillian Elin Eifler Mulron, whom I haven't met personally but whom I'm very much looking forward to meeting in the near future. Mulron, along with a plethora of Nashville volunteer staff, has built this network into one populated by (currently) 1,661 interested local parties. That, to me, looks like a strong base to build a lobby for Nashville's selection to host an initiative recently announced by Google. Hence, I posted at DigitalNashville discussions the following:
...in regards to Google's recent call for municipalities to express interest in their initiative to develop 1Gb "open access" broadband network. Who can lead this--hopefully someone with experience? I want it for our community but I'm not in a position to lead the drive. A petition? To whom would it go.
Obviously someone in an official position of civil service needs to deliver the actual request. Who's got the connections to the authority who can make Nashville a "contendah?"
http://www.google.com/appserve/fiberrfi will serve you up more information. It may well be that Nashville's status as a "big, but not too big" metropolitan city will help. The competition is on. Wish us luck!