"Kansas City, Kansas will have a new Internet provider next year, one that operates a 1Gbps fiber-to-the-home network, provides "open access" to any ISP wanting to use the pipes, and charges fees in line with current rates for much slower connections. That new Internet provider? Google.
When Google announced in February 2010 that it would build and operate its own fiber test network, the company said it would "offer service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people." More than 1,000 US towns applied for the program, and Google chose one with around 150,000 people.
Some of the entries showed the sheer desperation of cities to have world-class broadband. Others showed a remarkable streak for showmanship not always notable in city government. The city of Topeka, also in Kansas, ceremonially renamed itself "Google, Kansas." Raleigh, North Carolina city councilman Bonner Gaylord even pledged to name his unborn twins "Sergey and Larry Gaylord," after the Google founders. Alas, it was all for naught.
Google plans to start building the Kansas City network later this year, offering service to residents in the first quarter of 2012. (It's not clear that the entire network will be complete at that time, however.)
Pricing has not been set, though Google says prices will be "competitive.""
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