Friday, April 01, 2011
Google to bring high-speed fiber optic network to Kansas
Global IT innovator Google recently announced it has selected Kansas City as the location for initial implementation of its new ultra-high-speed fiber optic network.
The new network is part of a plan originally unveiled by Google last year. The initiative involves the deployment of ultra-high-speed fiber optic networks in a number of trial locations throughout the United States. The company plans to test the technology in these communities, with an eye to expanding into other locations in the future.
In 2010, Google invited cities in the U.S. to submit applications to participate in the program. Approximately 1,100 interested cities applied.
The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City submitted an application and argued that Kansas City has the right conditions for the fiber optic network trial.
Google, apparently, agreed with their assessment and decided to select the city as the first to be fitted with the new network.
Milo Medin, vice president for access services at Google, praised the choice of Kansas City for the initiative. "This project represents the future of how we connect to the web, and we want it to start in Kansas City," he said. "It is a real honor for Google to be here and we will work hard to deliver a service that will delight and empower this community to lead the nation forward in broadband," he added.
The initiative will see the company offer businesses and homes in Kansas City access to a fiber optic network with speeds of 1 gigabit per second. This, according to Google, is approximately 100 times faster than most broadband internet connections currently available.
The company hopes to observe the ways in which the community transitions from traditional broadband to the ultra-high-speed fiber optic network and use this data in order to improve internet access more broadly.
As part of its agreement with the city, Google will provide free access to the network for city facilities and schools.
Joe Reardon, mayor of the Unified Government, said the "wonderful diversity of our community, neighborhoods and industry make Kansas City, Kansas, a microcosm for the rest of the country.” According to Reardon, "Kansas is the perfect location for Google to launch its fiber project."
Many industry observers eagerly awaiting Google's announcement and IT experts worldwide are likely to look to Kansas City for signs of technology that may spread worldwide in coming years. According to Google, services in Kansas City are expected to become available in 2012.