updated 3/21/2010 12:41:04 PM ET 2010-03-21T16:41:04

Add Michigan State University and the surrounding area to the cast of thousands of communities competing for Google's experimental, high-speed broadband network.

Officials with the university in East Lansing are encouraging students and residents to support the effort. It promises to be more than 100 times faster than the Internet connections currently available to most Americans.

Google Inc. says several thousand citizens have nominated their communities since it announced plans in mid-February to build the network in a handful of areas. The company set a March 26 deadline for city governments and citizens to express interest, and Google plans to announce winners by the end of the year.

Other Michigan cities in pursuit include Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor.

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