With Google bringing ultra high speed broadband to both Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri how will this change the broadband provider landscape, and what will we learn about the impact of broadband? To put the speed in context, Google promises to install 1 gigabit (1000 Mbps) Internet speeds, which is more than 100 times faster than the average broadband connection and almost 20,000 times faster than dial-up.
Google's blog explains in very simple terms what the company will be doing in Kansas City, and how they expect high speed Internet to affect the city. When policy makers speak about proposals to connect communities and build high speed broadband networks, they often cite positive economic impact, more jobs, and a higher standard of living. The Google project in Kansas City will answer a lot of questions, and should be closely watched.
Google plans to build 1 Gigabit fiber connections throughout the entire city, and charge rates comparable to current broadband Internet fees. How many people will subscribe? Will innovative applications thrive, and will new businesses migrate to the area? Will employment increase? The answers to all of these questions are important indicators of how broadband can positively impact economic development.
Google expects their efforts to have a positive impact on the community. From the Google blog about the Kansas City project:
"Our goal for this project is to allow for new innovations and cutting-edge technologies to develop and grow in Kansas City. By investing in a next generation technology infrastructure, we believe this project will help drive the region's overall economic development."
No matter what the impact is, Kansas City's mayor Sly James summed it up by saying, "I would call this a game changer, but as of today no one is playing on the same field with us."
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