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Topeka renames itself 'Google, Kan.' to campaign for fiber-optic network

March 2, 2010 | 10:08 am

They are not in Topeka anymore.

Topeka

Residents of the city in Kansas are abuzz after their mayor signed a proclamation that for the month of March Topeka will be known as "Google."

It’s part of a campaign to get Google to roll out a 1-gigabit-per-second fiber-optic broadband network to the city and its 120,000 residents.

Municipalities across the country are competing to land the super-fast network. This is not an official, legal name change, just more of a request that people honor the proclamation to make a stronger case to Google that Topeka should be the one.

Interest is high. Facebook groups have sprung up to plug different locales.

Interestingly, Topeka has tried this gimmick before. In August 1998, the city changed its name to “ToPikachu” after the Pokemon character.

Other municipalities have gotten into the Internet name-game. Halfway, Ore., earned its spot in dot-com history by renaming itself Half.com in exchange for $100,000, school computers and other benefits. EBay bought Half.com in 2001.

-- Jessica Guynn

Photo credit: Mark Lennihan / Associated Press

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