Saturday, 29 June 2013

Connecting across continents

You can find more information about this event on the Official Google Blog

This morning, 50 Kansas City middle and high school students met the First Lady of the United States — via a Google Fiber connection at the Fiber Space. All week, Mrs. Obama has been traveling on a White House Tour through Africa, talking to and hearing from young people about the importance of education. Today, she heard from students right here in KC.

At 8:30 a.m. Central Time, the First Lady hosted a Google+ Hangout On Air from Johannesburg, South Africa connecting to students in L.A., Houston, New York, and Kansas City. The students and Mrs. Obama got the chance to talk with one another directly, sharing ideas about education in their countries face-to-face-to-face; a bit like a 21st-Century pen pal program.

The group of KC students that "met" the First Lady are spending their summer breaks building motors, programming robots and developing web and mobile apps; they’re students who are attending several KC STEM Alliance camps to learn about science, technology, engineering and math.

You can see the whole video from the event here. Many thanks to the KC STEM Alliance, the Office of the First Lady and all of our STEM campers for letting us be a part of this transatlantic discussion.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Mission, Kansas: from the Santa Fe Trail to the information speedway

In the late 1800’s, Mission, Kansas was a key stop for wagoners moving west along the Santa Fe Trail. Now, more than a century later, Mission will become a hub for another expansion — the growth of the Silicon Prairie. Tonight, Mission’s city council voted to bring Google Fiber to Mission citizens.

We’re not sure when we’ll be able to bring Fiber to Mission (we have a lot of work to do before that can happen), but we’ll be sure to post any updates right here.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Fiber for Lee’s Summit

The Lee’s Summit, Missouri City Council just voted to bring Fiber to their town! For those of you keeping count, that’s nine Kansas City-area cities (in addition to Kansas City, Kan. and Kansas City, Mo.) where we plan to build Fiber in the future. You can see them all mapped out here.

As soon as we have more information about when Fiber will come to Lee's Summit residents, we’ll share it on this blog.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Deadlines for 11 more fiberhoods on both sides of the state line

If you pre-registered for Fiber last fall, we know you’ve been waiting awhile for Fiber to come to your area. We’re working hard to get to you as quickly as possible; as of today, customers in 16 fiberhoods throughout KCK and KCMO have Fiber service. And today, we’re drawing closer to bringing Fiber to 11 more fiberhoods.

If you live in any of these fiberhoods, be sure to choose your Fiber plan soon so we don’t miss you during construction. If you’re not sure which plan is right for you and want to talk to a person, drop by the Fiber Space or give us a call—we’re always happy to help!

Kansas deadlines
Miland Pump Station - Thursday, July 25
Silver City - Thursday, July 25
Stony Point North - Thursday, July 25
Junction School - Thursday, July 25
Schlagle High School - Thursday, July 25

Missouri deadlines
Ilus W. Davis Park - Thursday, July 25
Valentine - Thursday, July 25
Stratford Gardens - Thursday, July 25
Holmes Park - Thursday, July 25
River Market - Thursday, July 25
Oak Meyer Gardens - Thursday, July 25

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Nick’s first pitch

Ed. Note: You can help Nick and others with life-threatening illnesses with one quick cheek swab. Visit bethematch.org to become a donor.

Thirteen-year-old Kansas City-area resident Nick LeGrande has been a baseball fan since he can remember. He loves to watch baseball, talk about baseball, and of course, play baseball. But last year, Nick was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia, a rare blood disease that has kept him off the field indefinitely.

When the Oakland A’s, a Major League Baseball team, heard about Nick’s situation earlier this year, they asked him to throw out the first pitch at tonight’s game. Because of his illness, Nick can’t hop on a plane for the 1,800 mile journey from Missouri to the A’s stadium in California. But luckily, there’s another way for Nick to throw out tonight’s ceremonial pitch — using the Internet.

When we think of the power of the Internet and the importance of broadband connectivity to our communities, it’s easy to just think of sending email or watching videos. But high-bandwidth applications on the web have made a host of other amazing things possible — for example, the field of telerobotics, or the ability to control robots over long distances using the web. That’s how tonight, using a specially-designed, web-connected pitching robot, Nick LeGrande will throw the first-ever telerobotic pitch in MLB history.

At 8:53 PM Central time, Nick will join us at the Google Fiber Space in Kansas City, which we’ve transformed into a mini baseball stadium (real grass, dirt and bleachers) for the occasion. Using an Android app, Nick will be able to control the movements of a robot that will sit on the pitcher’s mound in Oakland. That robot will be equipped with a camera, which will livestream a first-hand view of what the stadium looks like to Nick. Then, joined by his family, friends, teammates and doctors from Children’s Mercy Hospital, Nick will toss out the game’s first pitch — in Kansas City, and in Oakland.

We're honored to share this moment with Nick, and you can too — visit our website to get a play-by-play of tonight's pitch and send him well-wishes via social media. He'll see your messages on the big screen at the Fiber Space as he throws out the first pitch. You can also visit Children's Mercy Hospital's website to learn more about Nick and severe aplastic anemia.

This story is part of a series called “Why Speed Matters,” which showcases examples of what’s possible with fast Internet -- and why it matters.

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Season premiere sneak peeks at the Fiber Space

Vampires. Witches. Bison. Our lineup of guest appearances at the Fiber Space next week is different than what we’ve seen in the past. Here’s the scoop on the two premiere screenings we’re hosting.

First up is the premiere screening of HBO’s True Blood on Thursday, June 13 at 7:00PM. The episode won’t air on HBO until Sunday, June 16, so you’ll have a sneak peek of season six before all your friends. We expect this episode to be a nail-biter, so we’ve prepared some drink concoctions and munchies that you can sink your teeth into. Blood orange spritzer, anyone? RSVP now (seats are limited), and get there early to snag a swag bag.

Our second premiere event next week focuses less on the supernatural and more on the natural. On Saturday, June 15 at 4:30PM, we’re screening the finale of Discovery’s North America series. In the finale, you’ll get an early look at North America: Top 10 — the show will feature the top 10 natural landmarks of the continent, as chosen by 35,000 online votes. RSVP now to save your seat. We'll have s’mores and some other snacks that remind you of being in nature, plus some photo opportunities with some of our favorite characters from the series.

True Blood Season Six Premiere
Thursday, June 13 at 7:00PM
Google Fiber Space, 1814 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO
RSVP Now, Space is Limited

North America Series Finale Premiere
Saturday, June 15 at 4:30PM
Google Fiber Space, 1814 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO
RSVP Now, Space is Limited