Google Picks Kansas City, Kan., for Ultra High-Speed Broadband Network

Kansas City beats out the other 1,100 cities that applied for Google’s 1 Gbps broadband network.

by / March 30, 2011

For anyone with the perception that life in Kansas City, Kan., moves at a slower pace, Google has news for you: The city’s Internet access will likely be more than 100 times faster than yours.

Google announced on its official blog, Wednesday, March 30, that it had signed a development agreement with Kansas City to implement the company’s 1 Gbps fiber Internet, as a part of Google’s Fiber for Communities project.

Google joined Kansas City Mayor Joe Reardon at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City on March 30, for a special event to commemorate the city’s involvement in the project.

More than 1,100 cities vied for the opportunity, submitting responses illustrating why they would be an ideal choice for the Web giant to build the network. Topeka, Kan., went one of the most unique routes — temporarily changing the state capital city’s name to Google, Kan., a year ago.

Kansas City will join Stanford University in Northern California as 1 Gbps communities in the United States. Stanford was chosen last year as a beta test site.

Google’s plans don’t stop at the creation of the network. The company has a number of goals in mind, including:

  • development of next-generation apps;
  • new techniques for deploying fiber networks; and
  • operating an open access network that will give users a choice of multiple service providers.

“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,” said Milo Medin, vice president of Access Services for Google, on the Web giant’s blog. “We’ve found this in Kansas City.”

The development agreement requires approval from Kansas City’s board of commissioners. Assuming all goes smoothly, Google plans to offer the 1 Gbps service in 2012, to a user base of at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000, at a competitive price.