In 2010 Google announced that it would lay down high-speed network infrastructure for one lucky American city. After more than 1,100 municipalities applied for Google Fiber, Kansas City was named the winner.
And today Google starts laying some cable.
For lucky Kansas City residents, they’ll soon have high-speed broadband that downloads 100 times faster than “normal” Internet access and uploads 1,000 times faster than average.
Kansas City won the Google Fiber competition because it met all of Google’s various requirements. “Our goal was to find a location where we could build efficiently, make an impact on the community, and develop working partnerships with the local government, utility and community organizations,” its FAQ says. “We believe we’ve found this in both Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri.”
[Google manager Kevin] Lo says the network will use “thousands of miles” of cable. The backbone of the network will be built first, and then Google Fiber will be connected to homes around Kansas City.
For the envious rest of us there is the possibility of longer term benefits. By demonstrating that these speeds are attainable, the public (and market) might beat traditional providers like Verizon, Comcast, Cox and Optimum with an encouragement stick to reinvest in their infrastructure to attain similar if not greater speeds.
Maybe. It wasn’t too long ago that “[t]he biggest U.S. Internet service providers urged regulators to adopt a conservative definition of “broadband,” arguing for minimum speeds that were substantially below many other nations,” according to Reuters.
The United States, after all, barely cracks the global top 30 in terms of Internet speed.
For Google, there’s long-range benefits as well. The faster the Internet goes, the better Google apps run. The better Google apps run, the more money they make. Call it enlightened self interest with potential benefits for all of us.