Google to expand ultra-fast broadband to KC, Mo.

May 18, 2011 By BILL DRAPER , Associated Press

More than a month after Kansas City, Kan., announced it would be the first place to get Google's ultra-fast broadband service, Kansas City, Mo., leaders declared their city the envy of the entire world after the search engine giant said it was expanding the service to their town.

Google announced in March it had picked Kansas City, Kan., as the inaugural site for its "Fiber for Communities" program, which is expected to deliver Internet access 100 times faster than offered by telephone and .

On Tuesday, the company said it had reached a deal with Kansas City, Mo., to run the high-speed across the Missouri River and into the city. The first customers are expected to go online sometime in the middle of next year.

"The eyes of the entire world are on this city," said Cindy Circo, a Kansas City, Mo., councilwoman who led the drive to get Google to come to the city. "Tomorrow, they will be talking about us around the world, around the water coolers in London, pointing to us on maps in Hong Kong. Tomorrow, in a hundred different languages in far off corners of the world, people will be saying, 'have you heard of Kansas City?' We were once the capital of the West, songs were written about us and how we were up-to-date. St. Louis even built an arch to let people know how close they were to Kansas City."

High-tech businesses, hospitals, utilities and schools initially would be the biggest beneficiaries of the network, which would provide rapid transmission of data and high-definition images far beyond what is available now.

As for the value to individuals, one industry analyst said that depends on pricing of the 1 gigabit service, since current available speeds are plenty fast for most applications.

Craig Settles, an analyst who last week visited Chattanooga, Tenn., where a city-owned utility built its own 1 gigabit system, said Google's announcement is a big deal for Kansas City like it was when the Tennessee community announced its plans.

"Chattanooga has raised the bar on firstness," Settles said. "They can say 'we've got the infrastructure. We're on the leading edge.' That has value. Cities and counties have to market themselves if they want to attract people and businesses to come to the area. If you go to Chattanooga, the fact they have a network 10 times faster than the goal of the national broad plan, it gives their community a lot of pride. That's not to be devalued. It's an asset to the community."

There was plenty of chest-thumping at Tuesday's announcement in Kansas City.

"This morning we were the envy of our peers," said Mayor Sly James. "Now they've realized we are peerless. The world is looking to see what we will do with our faster Internet connectivity. I guarantee Kansas City will not disappoint. In fact, neither Kansas City will disappoint."

Milo Medin, Google's vice president of access services, said there has been no decision on how much the faster service will cost individuals. He also said the announcement doesn't mean any big influx of jobs.

"One of Google's goals is to make the web faster," Medin said. "We believe the innovation on the web is only in its beginning phases."

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User comments : 6

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Mahal_Kita
not rated yet May 18, 2011
Xcuse me.. Fibre in the house has been rolled out here already. Many companies now offer fibre to the curb and not in the house. I have a fiber router in my house installed already also.
Pas2
not rated yet May 18, 2011
In Finland regular ISP called Sonera offers 1GB network wherever it already has drawn fiber connections. Sonera also expands its fiber network all the time. Its not even too pricey, wouldn't even think for a second if my house had fiber connection Sonera.
gopher65
5 / 5 (1) May 18, 2011
Pas2: Keep in mind that the US, China, and Canada are each individually the same size as Europe, geographically. So for the US to implement fibre-to-home in every household in the US would be the same as that happening in every last corner of Europe, no matter how remote or poor.

Finland = small. Japan = small. US = big. It is *much* easier to run cable over a small area than a large area (obviously;)).
210
not rated yet May 18, 2011
Xcuse me.. Fibre in the house has been rolled out here already. Many companies now offer fibre to the curb and not in the house. I have a fiber router in my house installed already also.

I'm from Missouri..."Show Me.."
SteveL
not rated yet May 18, 2011
Some folks here in the USA tend to get a bit geographically-centric. To some it seems that there is no world outside of their own little bubble. As an example, I bet that Councilwoman Cindy Circo wouldn't say; "St. Louis even built an arch to let people know how close they were to Kansas City." in St. Louis and get away with it. Just consider some of the bragging and chest thumping in this article a bit of ignorance on the part of the speakers.

Some home builders here in the states have been installing fiber in newly built homes for years and there are several companies that run fiber to your door. In this article they are talking about whole communities being set up with fiber access. This is a significant improvement over local, commonly available systems.
pt30
not rated yet May 23, 2011
Lots of places around the world already offer 1GB+. So what she meant to say was, "Gee, we're finally catching up with the rest of the world" Not, "The eyes of the entire world are on this city". I guess her excuse is, she's from a small town.

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