Archive for Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Google Fiber coming to KCK

March 30, 2011, 11:26 a.m.

Updated: March 30, 2011, 11:45 a.m.

Wyandotte County is the winner of a high-stakes, high-profile national competition to land Google’s ultra high-speed fiber network.

“After a careful review, today we’re very happy to announce that we will build our ultra high-speed network in Kansas City, Kansas,” Google announced in a blog this morning.

Tune in for announcement

The officials announcement at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, Kan., is being carried live at noon on the Google YouTube channel.

An official announcement was scheduled for noon by Gov. Sam Brownback and KCK Mayor Joe Reardon.

“We’ve signed a development agreement with the city, and we’ll be working closely with local organizations, businesses and universities to bring a next-generation web experience to the community,” Google said in its blog.

Google last year unveiled its nationwide "Fiber for Communities" program. In it Google sought communities interested in its pilot program that would bring Internet speeds 100 times faster than those elsewhere — faster than 1 gigabit per second.

More than 1,100 municipalities nationwide expressed interest. Topeka, Kansas’ capital city, renamed itself “Google, Kan.,” for a day to draw attention to its bid. Other Kansas cities bidding for Google Fiber included Baldwin City, Lawrence, Lenexa and Overland Park.

In the end, Kansas City, Kan., fit the bill.

“In selecting a city, our goal was to find a location where we could build efficiently, make an impact on the community and develop relationships with local government and community organizations. We’ve found this in Kansas City. We’ll be working closely with local organizations including the Kauffman Foundation, KCNext and the University of Kansas Medical Center to help develop the gigabit applications of the future,” Google said in today’s blog.

“In Kansas City, we were absolutely blown away by the leadership, the city staff, the utility as well,” said Kevin Lo, general manager for Google Access.

Pending approval from the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., Google Fiber plans to offer the service beginning in 2012.

“We can’t wait to see what new products and services will emerge as Kansas City moves from traditional broadband to ultra high-speed fiber optic connections,” Google said.

In making the announcement, Google said it was looking closely at ways to bring ultra high-speed Internet to other U.S. cities.

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