As 2011 draws to a close, we want to thank Google Fiber enthusiasts for such a great year. We hope you have a very happy holiday season, and we wish you the best for 2012!
Wednesday, 31 August 2011
While it will still be awhile until Google Fiber is actually in homes and businesses, now is the time to get Kansas Citians ready for the benefits of high-speed Internet. One of the best ways to do this is to help small businesses get a website, find new customers, and sell more products and services.
That’s why we’re at OfficePort today and tomorrow in downtown Kansas City, MO to help area small businesses build websites – for free!
Small businesses need to have a website because their customers are online. 97% of Americans search the Internet for local products and services, but 63% of small businesses do not have a website. These businesses are missing a great opportunity to connect with new customers and strengthen their business.
Janay Andrews, owner of Janay A. Handmade in Kansas City, Missouri knows first-hand how important the web is for her small business. Janay and her colleagues make customized eco-friendly wedding dresses. Their business was initially successful in the Kansas City region - but once Janay started her website, she was able to reach an even wider range of customers. Now, she’s making wedding dresses for people all over the country. We want businesses throughout the Kansas City region to experience the same kind of success with their website.
Kansas City Get Your Business Online is an easy and fast way for businesses to get online. Local business owners who attend will receive a free, easy-to-maintain, professional website. Businesses will also receive a free customized domain name, web hosting for a year and a listing on Google Places. This couldn’t happen without a fabulous group of national and local partners - many thanks to Intuit, SCORE, MeetUp, the Association of Small Business Development Centers, The Kauffman Foundation, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas City Kansas Chamber, the Kansas City Area Development Council and Kansas City Sourcelink.
We’re invested in the Kansas City region. Google Fiber will drive innovation and entrepreneurship here, and getting more businesses online will help strengthen the local economy.
Posted by Kevin Lo, General Manager, Google Access
Monday, 25 July 2011
There’s still a lot of work to do before we can offer ultra high-speed broadband to Kansas City in early 2012. The detail engineering phase will help us gather the geographical information we need to build the Google Fiber network later this year.
Many of the engineers working with us are Kansas City residents who are already generally familiar with the area, but they still may need to ask you a few simple questions (e.g. “what is your address?).
You may also see these engineers counting or measuring telephone and utility poles. Their work may look a little strange to observers, but it will help us deploy Google Fiber to the community as quickly and efficiently as possible.
We appreciate your help with this new phase of work, and we’re excited to be one step closer to bringing Google Fiber to Kansas City!
Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Q: What type of direct economic impact will this project have on residents of Kansas City?
A: This will be different from any broadband deployment that has ever been done before, so it’s difficult to predict or calculate an exact economic impact. That said, we strongly believe that this type of infrastructure will give the Kansas City region a competitive advantage over areas across the country, and that this advanced connectivity will attract entrepreneurs, innovators, and businesses to the region – which will lead to economic development and growth.
Q: Will Google be hiring locally?
A: There will be construction and engineering jobs, and to the extent that local providers are the right fit, they will be hired. But to be clear, we’re not planning to build a Google campus here or hire large numbers of local employees.
Q: Will Google be building a data center here?
A: We have no current plans to build a data center in Kansas City.
Q: How is Google planning to engage the community and bridge the digital divide?
A: We’ve just stared our initial outreach, but we’re very interested in reaching out to all community groups that share our commitment to getting more people online.
Q: Will Google’s infrastructure be open to other companies?
A: We plan to offer ultra high-speed Internet access directly to consumers at an affordable price. We look forward to sharing more information as we begin to develop more specific plans.
Q: What will this actually look like inside my home? Will I connect my computer via a regular Ethernet connection?
A: There are many types of homes and many different approaches for converting an ultra high-speed signal from fiber to Ethernet, and we’re working to provide efficient solutions for each.
Q: Are you planning to introduce courses or programs to help take advantage of fiber?
A: We’ll be looking to partner with local organizations to help share knowledge and uses of this new technology. Stay tuned.
Q: What schools will receive free Internet service? Will you include religious and private schools?
A: As part of our agreements with Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, Google will connect hundreds of educational and public entities as we build out our network. Each city will determine those locations.
Q: How will this project be integrated into Google’s green energy projects?
A: As part of the project, Google has agreed to explore with Kansas City different potential uses of a ultra high speed fiber network, including the city's existing smart grid program. We look forward to sharing more information as we begin to develop more specific plans.
Have a question that’s not answered here? Please feel free to write us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll do our best to respond as soon as possible.
Posted by Matt Dunne, Head of Community Relations
Friday, 10 June 2011
Below you’ll find some of the most commonly asked questions about Google Fiber. We’ll be posting a second round of responses next week.
In the meantime, feel free to send your questions to email@example.com – we’ll do our best to respond as soon as possible.
Q: Google is a search engine – why are you building an ultra high-speed fiber network?
A: Our business is built on the success of the web. We believe that building an ultra high-speed broadband network will help move the web forward and push the boundaries of technology – that’s good for users and good for Google.
Q: Will Google be providing TV and phone service, or are you focused on Internet connectivity?
A: For now we’re focused on providing ultra high-speed Internet connectivity. We want to hear from Kansas City residents what additional services they would find most valuable before announcing any additional commitments.
Q: Will you be expanding your project to other communities in the region?
A: We’ll be looking closely at ways to bring ultra high-speeds to other communities in the future, but we don’t have any plans to announce at this time. For now our focus is on Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri.
Q: How much will it cost?
A: It's too early to say how much we plan to charge for service, but we do plan to set prices that are competitive to what people are currently paying for broadband access.
Q: When can I sign up?
A: We plan to offer service beginning in 2012. We plan to begin advance sign-ups in Q4 of this year, and our goal is to offer service starting in 2012.
Q: Will Google be deploying technologies that the Kansas City community will be the first to see?
A: We’ll have more to share in the future – but yes, our network will be cutting-edge!
Q: What is Google doing to ensure accessibility?
A: Google’s mission to make the world’s information more accessible applies to all users, including people with disabilities, such as blindness, visual impairment, color deficiency, deafness, hearing loss and limited dexterity. To learn more, please visit our Accessibility at Google site.
Q: Will you be supporting IPv6?
A: Yes, we plan to make our network IPv6 ready. To learn more about IPv6, check out this page.
Q: How will my privacy be protected?
We intend to operate this network in a way that's fully consistent with our design principles with respect to privacy. We will design strong privacy protections for user data into the offering, and provide users with a robust set of choices about their use of this and other Google services.
Q: Is Google working with manufacturers to make sure computers will be able to take advantage of gigabit speeds?
A: Yes, manufacturers are already paying attention, and almost all new products coming to market today are capable of handling gigabit speeds.
Next week I’ll be sharing more Q&A – so stay tuned to this blog for the latest.
Posted by Matt Dunne, Head of Community Relations
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
I’m here this morning to announce that Google’s ultra high-speed broadband service is coming to the City of Fountains – Kansas City, Missouri. In March we were on the other side of the river, announcing plans to bring ultra high-speeds to Kansas City, Kansas. We promised that would be the start – not the end – of our efforts, and we’re thrilled to be able to take this next step and expand the project to the broader region. Residents of both KCMO and KCK will have access to our service starting in 2012.
We’ll be working closely with Mayor Sly James, the city government, and Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) – the first investor-owned utility in the world to take on this kind of effort – to deliver Internet speeds 100 times faster than what most people have access to today.
It’s fitting that this morning’s announcement will take place at Kansas City’s historic Union Station. Beautifully restored in the 1990s, this landmark unites the region and reminds us how infrastructure can drive innovation and opportunity. We hope to achieve the same result by connecting both KCMO and KCK with ultra high-speeds.
Google took on this project because we’re committed to moving the web forward. Just as the move from dial-up to broadband led to new and unpredictable innovations, we believe ultra high-speed bandwidth will push the web to even greater heights – and we couldn’t imagine a better place to start than the Kansas City region. With or without Google Fiber, this area is a hub for technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship, with a diverse population that represents the rest of the country.
Going forward, we’ll continue to talk to other cities about the possibility of us bringing Google Fiber to their communities. For now, we can’t wait to see how the Kansas City region comes together to benefit from this kind of connectivity.
Posted by Milo Medin, Vice President, Access Services
Monday, 16 May 2011
In the coming weeks and months, we’ll offer up posts on what we’re up to in Kansas City, who we are, and how we think about broadband infrastructure. We also plan to share more on what we learn from you – including what applications you want to see and how you think gigabit speeds will change the way you use the web. We want this blog to be a one-stop shop, so while we’re only just now launching, we’ve included below several months’ worth of prior posts dating back to our first fiber announcement in February 2010.
We hope you’ll check back often to read the latest updates from our team. We’re also very interested in reading what you have to say, so we’ve enabled comments. We invite you to share your comments on any post below – we’ll be reading every one, and we’ll be doing our best to respond.
Posted by Kevin Lo, GM, Google Access
Wednesday, 30 March 2011
After a careful review, today we’re very happy to announce that we will build our ultra high-speed network in Kansas City, Kansas. We’ve signed a development agreement with the city, and we’ll be working closely with local organizations, businesses and universities to bring a next-generation web experience to the community.
Later this morning we'll join Mayor Reardon at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, Kansas, for an event we’ll carry live on the Google YouTube channel—be sure to tune in at 10am PDT to watch.
In selecting a city, our goal was to find a location where we could build efficiently, make an impact on the community and develop relationships with local government and community organizations. We’ve found this in Kansas City. We’ll be working closely with local organizations including the Kauffman Foundation, KCNext and the University of Kansas Medical Center to help develop the gigabit applications of the future.
Pending approval from the city’s Board of Commissioners, we plan to offer service beginning in 2012. We’ll also be looking closely at ways to bring ultra high-speed Internet to other cities across the country.
Over the past decade, the jump from dial-up to broadband has led to streaming online video, digital music sales, video conferencing over the web and countless other innovations that have transformed communication and commerce. We can’t wait to see what new products and services will emerge as Kansas City moves from traditional broadband to ultra high-speed fiber optic connections.
Now it’s time to get to work.
Update 4:15PM: 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.
Posted by Milo Medin, Vice President, Access Services