After much competition Kansas City has been chosen as the first US location for Google's foray into building networks.
Last year the search giant announced it would build 1Gbit/s fibre optic broadband networks in US metropolitan areas. A test network was set up in Stanford, conveniently down the road from Google's headquarters, and today the company announced that Kansas would be the first test-bed for a major network rollout next year.
"Over the past decade, the jump from dial-up to broadband has led to streaming online video, digital music sales, videoconferencing over the web and countless other innovations that have transformed communication and commerce," Google blogged.
"We can't wait to see what new products and services will emerge as Kansas City moves from traditional broadband to ultra high-speed fibre optic connections."
The choice is a good one. Kansas City is a split city, as it's sited on the border between Missouri and the state which bears its name. Google can see how the two states react to the new network on a user basis and from a legal perspective.
The decision will go hard for a community not too far from the city, however. Topeka, a few hundred miles down the flat roads of the state, actually changed its name for a day to Google in order to get the search firm's attention. A cute PR move, but ultimately fruitless.
Sleuth thinks Google's reasoning on this move is clear but slightly muddled. The more people use the internet the more revenue will come to Google is the thinking, but the company isn't really a network operator.
That said, having this kind of fibre network that's open is a positive step. Too much of the US broadband infrastructure is with uncompetitive little cartels, and an open network could spawn real innovation.
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