Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Answers to your town hall questions – Part II

Last week we posted some of the top questions and answers from our recent town hall event. As promised, here’s part two –

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 kansascity-fiber@google.com, and we’ll do our best to respond as soon as possible.

Friday, 10 June 2011

Answers to your town hall questions – Part I

Earlier this spring I had the pleasure of meeting with hundreds of members of the Kansas City, Kansas, community at a town hall meeting, where I answered some questions about our project. It was a great conversation, and as a follow-up I wanted to post some of the top questions and answers from the event.

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 kansascity-fiber@google.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.