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Kansas To Get High-speed Google Broadband Network

March 31, 2011

Kansas City, KS will be the site for a high-speed broadband Internet network in development by Google Inc, which it expects will provide Internet access speeds 100 times faster than what most people in the country currently have.

More than a thousand US cities and towns vied to become Google’s high-speed network hometown, which Google said is expected to go live next year.

Every home, school and business in the Kansas City area will ultimately be connected to a “one-gigabyte backbone” for routing data, Google said in company blog post on Wednesday.

“We hope to bring this same service to other nearby cities and other markets too,” Google vice president of access services Milo Medin told AFP. “This is really the beginning… we are starting here.”

The Internet search giant announced its plans to build the experimental high-speed network in February 2010. Google said the goal for the project would be to test ways to create new Web applications and services, as well as new ways to build better fiber networks.

Google said then that the networks would provide 1 gigabit per second connections to 50,000-plus people for a competitive price. Google said it could potentially pave the way to providing the speeds to as many as half a million people.

Google’s development deal, signed with Kansas City, is expected to begin in 2012, pending approval from the city’s board of commissioners.

“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 its blog.

Cities around the country used public rallies, YouTube videos, Facebook groups, and other means in their efforts to get selected by the California-based tech giant for the new service.

Google executives said speedy and omnipresent Internet service is an essential advancement in connecting people to the benefit’s that the Digital Age has to offer.

“Speed matters immensely,” Google chief financial officer Patrick Pichette told the French news agency. “We’re going to actually experiment to find solutions to make the Internet accessible to everybody.”

Google said it named Kansas City as their new home for the experimental service because it believed it would be able to efficiently build a fiber network there and there was great potential for showcasing services that capitalize on ultra-fast data connections.

“Over the past decade, the jump from dial-up to broadband has led to streaming online video, digital music sales, video conferencing over the Web and countless other innovations that have transformed communication and commerce,” said Medin.

“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,” he said.

According to a study — released in October by networking firm Cisco — of Internet connectivity in countries around the world, the US ranked 15th. Number one on the list was South Korea.

Countries with better and more widespread broadband connectivity have an economic advantage and many emerging economies are jumping ahead of older Internet technologies and going right to high-speed networks, according to the study.

The study also concluded that the US was not among the top countries that were prepared for the “Internet applications of tomorrow.”

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