Google chooses Kansas City for ultra-fast Internet

Kansas City, Kansas was the recipient of Google's 1 gigabit Internet service projectKansas City, Kan., just got 100 times faster. By David Goldman, staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The year-long wait is over: Google announced Wednesday that it has chosen to deploy its ultra-fast broadband network in Kansas City, Kansas.

Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) will provide broadband Internet access to the city with speeds of about 1 gigabit per second. That's around 100 times faster than what most Americans have available to them today. Google said that the network's speed would be fast enough to download a high-definition, full-length feature film in less than five minutes.

The decision follows Google's March 2010 announcement that it would build and test-drive a new, high-speed fiber-optic network in a U.S. community. Nearly 1,100 cities applied, with some going to great lengths to try to influence Google's choice. Topeka, Kansas, even renamed the city "Google" for a day, which Google later poked fun at in an April Fools gag.

In a blog post, the search giant thanked all the various communities for their interest, but said it chose Kansas City after "a careful review." Google said that it was looking for a city where it could "build efficiently, make an impact on the community and develop relationships with local government and community organizations."

Kansas City has a relatively small population of about 150,000, which may have influenced Google's decision.

The company said it has signed a development agreement with the city and will work with local organizations, companies and universities to build out the network. Google expects the service to go live early next year.

Google said the network would offer wire-line service directly to consumers' homes at "a competitive price." The network will be built by Google, but consumers will be able to choose their service provider.

The goal of the project, according to the company, is to "make the Web better for users." Google's view is that faster Internet speeds have always led to new platforms, innovations and businesses. For instance, YouTube, iTunes and Skype would not have taken off had most of America not upgraded from dial-up connections.

America's average download speed of 4 megabits per second ranks 15th in the world, according to the Information Technology Industry Council. President Obama and the Federal Communications Commission have long advocated for faster speeds to increase the country's global competitiveness.

And if you're bummed out that your community wasn't chosen, Google offered this little ray of hope: "We'll also be looking closely at ways to bring ultra high-speed Internet to other cities across the country." To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,804.71 -238.19 -1.40%
Nasdaq 4,422.09 -71.30 -1.59%
S&P 500 1,946.16 -26.13 -1.32%
Treasuries 2.40 -0.10 -4.19%
Data as of 11:50pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.82 -0.23 -1.35%
Ford Motor Co 14.59 -0.20 -1.35%
Facebook Inc 76.55 -2.49 -3.15%
Apple Inc 99.18 -1.57 -1.56%
Cisco Systems Inc 25.03 -0.14 -0.56%
Data as of 4:03pm ET

Sections

In the last five years, pumpkin sales have risen 34% as people demand pumpkin in everything from beer to beef jerky. More

Facebook's chief product officer issued an apology to Sister Roma and the drag community on Wednesday for its flawed 'real name' policy. More

New York City launches a comprehensive site for all things related to its digital tech scene, Digital.NYC. More

For these seniors, the best retirement is not to retire. From a 102-year-old Wal-Mart worker to an activist park ranger, these workers have stayed on the job well into their golden years. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.