Google taking its talents to Kansas City, Kan.

Picks city from among 1,100 suitors for 1 gigabit/sec network

Google has chosen Kansas City, Kan., from among more than 1,000 petitioning cities for the site of its 1 gigbit/sec optical network, the company announced on its blog.

The company plans to begin building the network later this year and open Internet access in 2012, initially to about 50,000 customers and, eventually, to about 500,000. The 1 gigabit/sec broadband network will provide service at speed 100 times faster than most U.S. cities. Chattanooga, Tenn., also has a 1 gigabit/sec network, but most municipalities struggle along at much slower speeds.

After Google announced plans in February to build the network, nearly 1,100 cities applied, some of them using creative, occasionally desperate-looking, stunts to get thje company’s attention.

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Baltimore mapped its 3.9 million feet of underground conduits in hope of giving Google a blueprint for the network. But other cities weren’t quite so practical. Topeka, Kan., temporarily changed its name to Google, Kan. Mayors of other cities swam with sharks or, literally, went and jumped in a lake.

But Google announced March 30 it had signed a development agreement with Kansas City, “and we’ll be working closely with local organizations, businesses and universities to bring a next-generation Web experience to the community,” according to the blog post.

The bright spot for the rejected suitors? Google has said the Kansas City network will be the inaugural site in its “Fiber for Communities,” program, so there’s still hope they could be chosen next time.

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

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