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Google making progress on Kansas City fiber project

By Donna Donnawitz
November 28, 2012
If you've been watching the fiber-to-the-home landscape for the past year or two, chances are you've run into some news about Google. The internet giant is working on an ambitious project to install a sophisticated FTTH network in both Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri. These efforts represent a pilot program that goes well beyond the performance capabilities of most standard FTTH setups.

According to a recent Lightwave report, Google is set to begin installation in the first neighborhoods. As part of its project, Google is calling the parts of the cities that will get FTTH installations "fiberhoods." The first fiberhoods to be created will be Hanover Heights and Dubs Dread in Kansas City, Kansas. A few more fiberhoods will follow in early 2013 with all 69 Kansas City, Kansas, fiberhoods to be complete by sometime in Fall 2013.

Kansas City, Missouri, will start seeing fiberhoods springing up in Spring 2013, while a few towns near each Kansas City set to gain access to the FTTH network.

Considering the scope of Google's project
In terms of scale, Google's fiberhood project is relatively small. However, if you look at the performance expectations for the network and consider where it is being installed, the system represents a major step forward for FTTH infrastructure.

On a technological level, Google is working to place both Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, among the cities with the fastest broadband speeds in the country. However, the more startling aspect of the project may be the location.

Evaluating location dynamics in FTTH
Rural areas have not been hotbeds for FTTH investment. While neither Kansas City is rural, they are the types of urban regions that are generally underserved by telecoms because the regions as a whole do not offer a dense enough population to support fiscally proficient FTTH networks. Google's project, therefore, stands out as an example of how important FTTH is in an area and may provide vital insight into how optical network installation impacts economic development.

Organizations are taking a financial risk developing FTTH infrastructure. Using fiber to Ethernet media converters can alleviate some of this risk because they simplify interoperability with home networks and provide a cost-effective way to connect the fiber systems with Ethernet infrastructure in homes and businesses.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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