Google Fiber: Why does Kansas City get to go high-speed?

Date: 27 Jul 2012 | posted in: Media Coverage | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

The Christian Science Monitor, July 27, 2012

Super high-speed Internet comes to Kansas City, courtesy of Google. Business leaders hope lightning fast connections with spur innovation and jobs. Google looks to be expanding further from its original business of Internet searching.

The Kansas City project will likely highlight the fact that average Internet speeds in most US cities lag far behind those in European and Asian cities, according to the Open Technology Institute. The US ranks 13th in average network speed according to Akamai’s “State of the Internet” report, behind South Korea, Hong Kong, Latvia, Romania, Denmark, and others.

The Google project will also be the cheapest super-fast connection in the country, and Google has added other enticements such as high-speed access for people that don’t have it, about one-quarter of Kansas City’s population. Anyone who doesn’t want to pay $70 a month for the one gigabit per second connection can pay $300 to connect their home to the network and then have free access to the Web at the current US average speeds for seven years – which Google says should increase property values.

Chris Mitchell, of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a Washington-based policy organization focused on community development, says the project could change the way people think about broadband connections and show what’s possible when bandwidth isn’t an issue.

“It gives you a sense of how incredibly overpriced the connections most of us have are,” Mitchell says. “Google is not doing anything that other companies like Comcast or Time Warner couldn’t do.”

Read the full story here.