Thursday, March 31, 2011

Google Awards Broadband Test to Kansas City; St. Louis Had Hoped to Be Guinea Pig

Posted By on Thu, Mar 31, 2011 at 7:53 AM

Today that big arch is actually a frown.
  • Today that big arch is actually a frown.
After a year of speculation and more than 1,100 applications from cities across the nation, Google yesterday announced it has chosen a city for its ultra-high-speed broadband project.

Soon Google will begin installing fiber optic lines in Kansas City, Kansas, which the company says will "make Internet access more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have today." In choosing Kansas City, Google said it found a location where it could build efficiently, make an impact on the community and develop relationships with local government and community organizations.

It's worth noting that the the Kansas-side of Kansas City has only around 150,000 residents, making it much smaller than its namesake in Missouri. (Google had said it wanted to test the project in a city of between 50,000 and 500,000 people.)

Last year, St. Louis made a push to land the project, with the mayor's office officially applying for the technology and creating a website to lure Google.

But all may not be lost. Yesterday Google's vice president of access services, Milo Medin, wrote on the company's blog that Kansas City is just the first city in which it plans to roll out high-speed broadband.

We've heard from some communities that they're disappointed not to have been selected for our initial build. So just to reiterate what I've said many times in interviews: we're so thrilled by the interest we've generated--today is the start, not the end the project. And over the coming months, we'll be talking to other interested cities about the possibility of us bringing ultra high-speed broadband to their communities.

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