Archive for Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Google picks Kansas City, Kan., for high-speed fiber network project

Freshman at Wyandotte County High School react to the announcement that Google has picked Kansas City, Kan., as their location to install a high-speed fiber network.

March 30, 2011, 11:35 a.m. Updated March 30, 2011, 6:47 p.m.



Google Fiber comes to Kansas City, Kan.

Patrick Pichette, Google's chief financial officer, claps after an announcement that Google had chosen to build its ultra high-speed fiber network in Kansas City, Kan., Wednesday, March 30, 2011.

Patrick Pichette, Google's chief financial officer, claps after an announcement that Google had chosen to build its ultra high-speed fiber network in Kansas City, Kan., Wednesday, March 30, 2011.

— With the lightning quickness of an ultra-high speed Internet connection, Gov. Sam Brownback welcomed Google Fiber to Kansas City, Kan., on Wednesday.

“As governor of this state, I’m declaring today Google Day in Kansas!” Brownback exclaimed to a packed auditorium at Wyandotte County High School, which was filled with people showing uninhibited pride in the fact that Kansas City, Kan., has been named the first community chosen for Google’s “Fiber for Communities” program.

Google’s announcement means that by 2012, residents, businesses and governmental agencies throughout Kansas City, Kan., will have access to ultra-high speed Internet to the tune of 1,000 megabits, 100 times faster than those elsewhere.

The news capped Google’s yearlong, high-stakes, high-profile, national competition to find a community in which to pilot its ultra high-speed fiber network.

Milo Medin, Google’s vice president for access services, said he expected Google Fiber to be to the broadband of today what broadband was 15 years ago to dial-up.

“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,” Medin said.

Joining Brownback and Medin at the noon news conference announcing Kansas City’s selection were Patrick Pichette, Google’s chief financial officer, Joe Reardon, mayor and CEO of the Unified Government of Kansas City, Kan., and Wyandotte County, and Cindy Lane, superintendent of Kansas City, Kan., public schools.

Pichette, who is spearheading the Google Fiber project, said more than 1,100 communities had vied for a chance to be selected for the project. Topeka, Kansas’ capital city, renamed itself “Google, Kan.,” for a day to draw attention to its bid.

Ultimately, Kansas City, Kan., was chosen after what Pichette called “incredible, careful evaluation.”

Medin said when searching for a pilot city in which to begin the project, organizers looked for three elements:

• A city that would already have the infrastructure in place to allow Google to build “quickly and efficiently.”

• A city that would allow Google to leverage the new service so it would have a lasting impact.

• “We want to be able to develop strong relationships and partnerships with local government and the community so that we can work together to use technology in a new way to make a city a better place to live in, a better place to work in, a better place to learn in. And we found all of this here in Kansas City, Kan.”

Medin joked that the city and its staff had worked at “Google speed” to finalize the partnership with Google.

Reardon described the partnership as “transformative” and said it wasn’t just the adults in the community who would benefit from Google Fiber.

“I’m excited today to announce that in partnership with Google, our students will benefit from this new opportunity as free high-speed access will be provided at schools throughout the city,” he said.

Area communities are hoping to ride the coattails of the city’s success, as well.

Beth Johnson, director of economic development for the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, said the project was great news for Kansas, and said it could boost Kansas City, Kan., when companies are trying to decide where to locate within the region.

“It certainly is an advantage they will have over others in the region,” Johnson said. “But I think we all might benefit because certainly there’s going to be a lot of attention for the entire area.”

For those cities that didn’t get chosen for the project, Medin said all was not lost. The plan is to ultimately expand the project to other communities once it is determined how it will work out in Kansas City, Kan.

“This is really the beginning and not the end,” he said.


rse1979 7 years ago

I'll bet they got chosed because they speaks good.

John Hamm 7 years ago

most of them better than you.....

Keith 7 years ago

And we all know who will benefit from that.

Edwin Rothrock 7 years ago

Wow! That should be good for the whole region.

dogsandcats 7 years ago

"chooses" or "chose" not "choses"

julienstockwell 7 years ago

"More than 1,100 municipalities nationwide expressed interest. Topeka, Kansas’ capital city, renamed itself “Google, Kan.,” for a day to draw attention to its bid. Other Kansas cities bidding for Google Fiber included Baldwin City, Lawrence, Lenexa and Overland Park."

That paragraph is twice repeated and,

“We’re the closest intellectual hub to the Kansas City area.”

I'm glad you're confident in our intellectuality, Cromwell, but what does that even mean? I assume you're referring to the University of Kansas, but to say that's what makes Lawrence an intellectual hub is a little bourgeois. Grand Forks, North Dakota has the University of North Dakota, but I'm pretty sure no one is rushing to make the "intellectual hub" claim.

All of that aside, this is very cool.

NewbieGardener 7 years ago

Do you mean bourgeois as in A) capitalist or B) belonging to an entitled class? neither makes sense.

julienstockwell 7 years ago

I'm way late to the reply party here, but I'm going for the entitled class bit. Calling ourselves an "intellectual hub" really lays the clotted cream down thick, if you know what I'm saying (I would not blame you if you didn't).

I think it makes some sense. Maybe.

wmathews 7 years ago

Thanks for pointing out the typos, guys. I believe we fixed them all, but let us know if you see another.

Whitney Mathews Assistant Community Editor for Online

Ken Miller 7 years ago

I believe Ft. Leavenworth with its CGSC fits the "intellectual hub" definition better than Lawrence/KU.

John Hamm 7 years ago

Ah, the "elitists" of Larryville just can't quite grasp that KCK is actually not a bad place to live. Heck of a lot more development there than in Larryville - that's for sure. All we can do is hope to get the droppings from the cream.

7 years ago

Actually, I quite liked living in KCK for a year back in the 1990's. I still like Lawrence better, but I liked the people, being close to the urban core, and KCKCC got me back in school and motivated to finish at a 4 year school.

Shane Garrett 7 years ago

Well, if we could look futher than our neck of the woods, one could see a possibility of connecting KCK all the way through Lawrence, Topeka to Manhattan. Then Kansas might be a place other business oppertunities could happen in the future. But it would take leadership at the city council level. Something some of the above mentioned cities seemed to be lacking.

thepianoman 7 years ago

Good. I'm glad Toe-puke-uh wasn't selected. Why would any company want to risk having its equipment damaged from the sweat dripping profusely from that armpit??!!

Kontum1972 7 years ago

droppings from the cream,,,,,i saw that flick.....not oscar worthy.....

Kontum1972 7 years ago

Oscarfactor...i lived in 11 worth...for few years...there is some serious inbreeding going on there...and the cops are corrupt as D. Cheney,surrounded by prisons and prisoner families.. its is no Mecca.

Did u know that when they decided to settle 11 worth they were given a choice to have the prison or the university......they chose the prison..they said the had no use for a university but prison would bring more jobs....the rest is history.

PS i didnt make this up....a city historian told me this

Ken Miller 7 years ago

Not talking about "11 worth," I am talking about the Fort and the CGSC. That location is a concentration of brains and technology - a true hub.

Beth Ennis 7 years ago

wow, I'm impressed--NOT! I have lived in Leavenworth and Lawrence. Lawrence because of it's larger size has more restauarants and shopping. Otherwise, I love both cities. They both have small town atmosphere's, which I really like. I also worked for the LV PD. You don't have a clue what you are talking about. They are a group of hard working folks who have to deal with the very ugly side of humanity on a daily basis, something you couldn't pay me enough money to do. Maybe they had to deal with you, which is why you are so critical. To think that Leavenworth made the "wrong" choice, which you seem to alude to, because they selected the prison back in the 1800's, shows you only listened to part of what the historian told you. At the time, the prison was going to bring over 100 jobs, the university only about 5 or 10. The university started out very, very small. The prison did not. At that time, it made more economical sense to choose the prison. Lawrence then got the University. It all worked out.

labmonkey 7 years ago

"Knology provides Internet and cable service to Piper, which is just outside the city limits of Kansas City."

Piper is actually in KCK. It was annexed years ago.

Beth Ennis 7 years ago

“In selecting a city, our goal was to find a location where we could build efficiently, make an impact on the community and develop relationships with local government and community organizations. We’ve found this in Kansas City. "---

Key word here is develop relationships with local government. I'm guessing Lawrence's city council has a very bad reputation when it comes to new businesses that want to come to town. How very sad. I hope Lawrence will get to benefit from this high speed fiber sometime in the very near future.

deec 7 years ago

It will be sadly interesting to see what Wyco gave away in terms of tax abatements, TIFs, reduced water and electricity rates, STAR bonds and/or free land to lure google.

Scott Morgan 7 years ago

Perhaps we should demand a bit more of our leadership. Mass. Street, a good cup of coffee and old bookstores don't seem to be attracting much anymore.

brewmaster 7 years ago

yo man, bedda speed, dats wha I talkin bout, we be getten bedda speed, it be worf mo on da street man

BigPrune 7 years ago

If Lawrence was large enough to compete for this project, and were in the running, all of the haters (anti-business leftists) would be protesting down by the old courthouse.

Growth is a good thing after all, you think? Jobs, new businesses, more sales taxes etc. - something Lawrence hasn't seen in years

mae 7 years ago

KCK is a very good pick. They have major reconstruction on their main roads, merging the community college, direct NSEW to leavenworth, joco, kcmo and lawrence/topeka. The library is changing things up since Sam's loan office burnt down. It's a place where there is so much investment they won't have to pay much to rebuild what they get into. Prime location.

deec 7 years ago

I bet they won't pay much because wyco will do it for them via tax abatements, reduced utility rates, free real estate, et. al.

Puttman 7 years ago

Hi Guys! Good comments here and all but the reasons that KCK won out over others, including Topeka (Indian name for "good place to dig for potatoes") It's that KCK has control over their utilities, they own them and therefore Google doesn't have to deal with too many different entities to lay their fiber optic lines, (this whole thing itself is a broadband/ fast fiberoptic test bed, it's not going to be free- fiberoptic subscribers will pay for the highspeed ...the users might be Doctors and Clinics using the fast bandwidth to shuttle data and patient media data back and forth) There are other reasons. First of all, by choosing Kansas City Kansas it seems so straightforward and clear. "Hi Google! have you chosen a city?" "Yes, We have chosen Kansas City Kansas!" "Oh great! Is that in Kansas?" "Yes, of course! Where did you think it was? Kansas City Missouri ?" "Oh no, I would never think that, Why would there be a city in Missouri named Kansas?" "Yes, you are right, that would be just plain stupid."
Before we go on, can I ask one more question? "Yes Dear Friend, go ahead." "Well then, why didn't you chaps just go on with the Topeka thing?" "Thanks for asking but we never could, ...Topeka is only known for that Phelps chap, Fred and his nutty bunch, and the digging potatoes and crap. It would be harder to explain. Cheers- Puttman

Shane Garrett 7 years ago

I still say that the fiber optics for greater speed will travel down the I-70 way. No matter how many small minded people think that "other cities" are not worth the effort due to their own pre-judgments. Its like when I was down south. I would say "how are you folks doing?" And the reply would be "You're not from around here are you?!" My response was to make them laugh by saying: "No, I am from Kansas, where the state tree is a telephone pole."

Liberty275 7 years ago

Gigabit internet and the Speedway. At least they will have to drive further than us to get to our new library.

chicago95 7 years ago

Consider what this means in the context of Cerner's forthcoming office campus in Wyandotte County. Gigabit bandwidth should be a boon to health information exchange among hospitals, clinics, public health agencies as well as a potential hub for the National Health Information Network. It could also be a boon to Cerner shareholders. Let's make sure that state and county governments remain vigilant to ensure that this tremendous resource continues to serve the public interest.

chicago95 7 years ago

Also a potential boost for GoogleHealth. Again, let's exploit every opportunity, but let's be vigilant.

Sean Livingstone 7 years ago

Instead of making noises saying the Lawrence is an intellectual hub, why don't you.. yes, you, the one reading this... do your job and make it one?

Deja Coffin 7 years ago

Wow poor Topeka... I mean, Google KS. Awkward

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