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Archive for Thursday, April 7, 2011

Google’s new high-speed fiber network in Kansas City won’t mean jobs

April 7, 2011, 8:30 a.m. Updated April 7, 2011, 11:03 a.m.

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— Google's decision to start its new ultra-fast broadband network in Kansas City, Kan., will not include many job opportunities for residents, a representative of the search engine has said.

The company can do most of the installation remotely and may hire only two people locally, Matt Dunne, Google's director of community affairs, told about 500 people attending a town hall meeting Wednesday.

Even the crews who will build the infrastructure — hanging fiber optic wire on utility poles or stringing lines underground — will be contractors that Google has used elsewhere, The Kansas City Star said.

"We do infrastructure deployment all the time and all over the world," Dunne said. "Our intention is to work with the people we work with now."

Google announced last week that the city would be the first test site for its "Fiber for Communities" program, which it says will be capable of delivering Internet access more than 100 times faster than current home broadband connections.

The main benefit to the community will be a network of high-speed Internet connection that will be installed in the community, Dunne said. Some of those connections, up to 130 governmental organizations including schools, will be free. The Unified Government of Wyandotte County will decide who receives the free service.

Google expects to sign the first customers for the service in September or October and turn on their fiber connections in January or February. But Dunne said the project is complicated and that those target dates might change.

Some areas of the city might wait much longer than other areas for the service, he said. Pricing has not been set yet, although Google has said the cost will be "competitive" with other Internet service.

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