Google fiber: Palo Alto loses out to Kansas City

Midwest community to get ultra high-speed Internet project instead of Silicon Valley

by Sue Dremann
Palo Alto Weekly Staff

The Official Seal of Palo Alto, CA

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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.

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Slow Internet Could Drive Away Nearly Two-Thirds of Student Residents

Dormitory at Pusan National University's Mirya...

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HOUSTON – Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of students would consider relocating if Internet speeds in their apartment didn’t meet expectations. This finding, from a survey by J Turner Research, confirms that access to fast Internet speeds is no longer an amenity in student housing – it is now an expectation. And it’s not hard to understand why – 56 percent of students said they spend between three and five hours a day on the Internet, and another 16 percent said they spend five to six hours a day online.

A majority (53 percent) of the 10,000 student respondents said the Internet connections in their apartments were slower than at their college or university; however, their satisfaction levels with Internet speeds remain high, with 43 percent of respondents ranking their satisfaction at a 7 or above, based on a scale of 0-10.

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The Flaw in Obama’s Wireless Plan

Main Street in Ten Sleep, WY

Main Street in Ten Sleep, WY

The President hopes an increase in Internet access will result in more economic development. Fiber networks would do that better than mobile broadband

By Brendan Greeley

The residents of Ten Sleep, Wyo., know the meaning of rural. They didn’t have phone service until the 1950s, when Tri-County Telephone Assn., a municipal cooperative, used federal subsidies to string copper wire to every home. In 2005 the co-op upgraded to fiber-optic cable, giving the town’s 300 residents Internet access at 20 megabits per second. For the technically unfamiliar, Chris Davidson, Tri-County Telephone’s general manager, describes this as “smoking fast.”

Even President Barack Obama is impressed. On Feb. 10 he rolled out a national wireless plan, pointing to Ten Sleep as an example of what he wants to replicate nationally: Because of the town’s high-speed fiber network, one company has been able to hire locals to teach English to Asians by video chat over the network. Obama hopes his plan will result in more such economic development by providing 98 percent of Americans with access to high-speed wireless Internet. “Ten Sleep,” Obama mused. “I love the name of that town.”

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Global Telecom Group Finds Number of Internet Users Worldwide Doubles in Past Five Years


International Telecommunications Union, Geneva.

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WASHINGTON, October 20, 2010 -The number of global internet users doubled in the past five years and will surpass the 2 billion mark in 2010, according to new data from the International Telecommunications Union.

The number of people having home internet access has increased from 1.4 billion in 2009 to almost 1.6 billion in 2010. The new data were released on the eve of World Statistics Day, which is Wednesday.

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