May 4, 2013
Google Fiber Comes To Shawnee, Kansas
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
Google has just announced they´ll be shining their Gigabit glow on Shawnee, Kansas as they bring Fiber to another town just outside of Kansas City.Shawnee is the fifth city in Johnson county to be promised Google Fiber and now joins eight other cities awaiting Fiber to be laid and run into their homes. According to the Kansas City Star, the Shawnee city council announced a special meeting Thursday evening to “consider an agreement that would allow Google Fiber to provide service in Shawnee.”
With this agreement, Google will now begin the tedious process of signing contracts, working out licenses and building the Fiber infrastructure in Shawnee. Community manager Rachel Hack states on the Google Fiber blog they don´t yet have an estimate for when the service will actually arrive in Shawnee. She does, of course, promise to keep everyone posted.
“We´ve also been impressed by Shawnee´s vision to keep their citizens informed and involved using the Internet,” writes Hack in the blog.
"The ultra-high speed Google fiber network will enhance the quality of life for people in Shawnee by providing faster access to essential digital resources,” said Shawnee Mayor Jeff Meyers in a statement on Shawnee´s newly redesigned site. “This will grow and strengthen Shawnee´s competitive advantage in the years to come.”
Google is now preparing their Fiber service in several other Kansas cities, including Westwood, Westwood Hills, Mission Woods and Olathe.
According to the Kansas City Star, Google has been able to sweeten the pot for city councils by refusing to ask for direct subsidies or tax breaks. Instead, Google has repeatedly asked the local contractors and government to allow them smooth passage as they build out their Fiber network, removing any red tape. Google is also said to be in talks with several other cities in Johnson county to bring Fiber to the residents there.
The search giant announced plans to bring their Fiber service to the residents of Kansas City last July.
The Fiber service offers Gigabit Internet speeds said to be 100 times faster than the service offered by other Internet service providers.
Fiber also delivers popular television channels, such as CNN, ESPN and HBO to subscribers for $120 a month. Subscribers who only want to take advantage of the Gigabit Internet speeds pay $70 a month. True to form, Google also offers a “free” Internet option to residents in Fiber areas. For a one-time construction fee of $300 (or $25 per month spread out over 12 months) Google will lay Fiber directly to your home. The resulting “free” Internet, however, is only as fast as the average connection, about 5 Mbps.
Last month Google announced the first cities outside of Kansas and Missouri where they plan to bring Fiber next: Austin, TX and Provo, Utah.
Fiber´s expansion to Provo, Utah might not be as smooth as it´s been for other cities. One telecommunications company already operating in the area, CenturyLink, protested Google´s move into their area, claiming they were treated unfairly during the voting process.