updated 01:10 pm EDT, Wed March 30, 2011
Google Fiber confirmed for Kansas City, KS
Google on Wednesday made its pick for the Google Fiber project today and said it would first roll out the 1Gbps Internet access in Kansas City, Kansas. The city was picked out of fierce competition from about 1,100 candidates. Google already had a development agreement in place and would be working with local firms and institutions to roll it out.
Service should go live in 2012 as long as the Board of Commissioners signs onboard. Other cities might also still get Google Fiber, the company said. Stanford's campus already has it as a trial.
The project was detailed in February last year and is intended as a live, real-world way to test the future of very high speed Internet connections. A 1Gbps connection is dozens of times faster than even most 'good' Internet connections in the US and has more than enough bandwidth for streaming 3D video and other real-time tasks that are expected to come in the years ahead.
Real-time telemedicine, remote education, and perfect quality video conferencing have been mentioned as possibilities. Governor Sam Brownback celebrated the event enough to nominate March 30 as Google Day in the state.
News of the project ironically came just as North Carolina's Congress passed a law preventing municipally run projects. The bill has yet to clear the state Senate but was the result of repeated attempts from telco lobbyists at AT&T, CenturyLink, and Time Warner Cable to discourage competition. The cities of Salisbury and Wilson have been building fiber optic Internet programs that would be much faster and cheaper than any of the private services but have been seen by telecom firms as threats that would force network upgrades and lower prices.