Midwest community to get ultra high-speed Internet project instead of Silicon Valley
by Sue Dremann
Palo Alto Weekly Staff
A Midwest city has beaten out all Silicon Valley contenders, including Palo Alto, to become Google’s first fiber-optics-wired city, executives announced Wednesday (March 30).
Kansas City, with a population of 145,786, was chosen out of 1,100 cities that applied in 2010 for the “Google Fiber for Communities” project, sponsored by the Mountain View tech giant.
The ultra high-speed fiber-to-the-home connections will provide Internet access at 100 times faster than typical broadband services, the company said. Fiber transmits light over fiber-optic cable — a strand of glass as thin as a hair — to send and receive data. It is far faster than electric signals sent over metal wires.
Palo Alto officials and technophiles aggressively wooed Google, creating a video and deluging the company with e-mail in support of bringing fiber to Palo Alto. The city sent a letter to the company last month seeking to further define its history and connections with Google in a last-ditch bid for the project.
But in the end, less tech-connected Kansas City won out.
“We were absolutely blown away by the leadership — the mayor, the city staff, the utilities as well,” Google General Manager Kevin Lo said in a YouTube video.
A company spokesperson did not elaborate on the reasons the Midwest city was chosen or where Palo Alto ranked in the contest, but Kansas City Mayor Joe Reardon said in a press release that “the wonderful diversity of our community, neighborhoods and industry make Kansas City, Kansas a microcosm for the rest of the country.
- Google Fiber Comes To Kansas City (tech.slashdot.org)
- Bellingham Snubbed by Google (fishandbicycles.com)