Skip Navigation

Google announces Kansas City to receive gigabit fibre broadband
Thursday 31 March 2011 12:36:13 by John Hunt

Google have chosen Kansas City, Kansas as the site for its 1Gbps fibre broadband experiment which it announced last year. The company intends to deploy fibre broadband to the city to try and seek ways to make Internet access better and faster for everyone. The network will start to be built this year and services are expected to be available over it in 2012. Google are intending for this to be competitively priced which will likely mean at a similar level to existing broadband services.

The three goals of this experimental fibre broadband network were to develop new techniques for building fibre networks; enabled developers to build next generation apps to leverage the new access network; and create openness and choice by allowing multiple providers to offer connections through Google fibre.

"After a careful review, today we're very happy to announce that we will build our ultra high-speed network in Kansas City, Kansas. We've signed a development agreement with the city, and we'll be working closely with local organizations, businesses and universities to bring a next-generation web experience to the community..

In selecting a city, our goal was to find a location where we could build efficiently, make an impact on the community and develop relationships with local government and community organizations. We've found this in Kansas City."

Milo Medin, (Vice President Access Services) Google

Google received nearly 1,100 nominations for cities across the country requesting that they build fibre broadband there, and this is likely to leave many people disappointed that they didn't win. The message for these people though is that this is the start, not the end of Google's fibre project and the company intends to talk with other interested cities about bringing fibre to them.


Posted by otester over 6 years ago
Yum yum, data mining time!
Posted by dustofnations over 6 years ago
@otester There is no suggestion/insinuation that Google will interfere with the data at the network/supplier level in any way. Have you found something?
Posted by otester over 6 years ago

Google CEO's take on privacy...links with US government....
Posted by dustofnations over 6 years ago
Just speculation then
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
To be fair, the issues last year with illicit, possibly illegal, gathering in numerous countries of wi-fi data may raise some concerns.

Coverage yesterday such as "Google will be subject to privacy audits for the next 20 years by the Federal Trade Commission, following charges that it violated its own privacy promises" for Google Buzz will not have helped!
Posted by ElBobbo over 6 years ago
If you guys think that Google would be somehow any worse than the current, scum-sucking, profit-driven, greedy ISPs that provide service to the majority of people in this country, you're mistaken.

If there's any way to make money from it, it's probably happening already. Google will more than likely just throw it in the TOS, instead of doing it covertly.
Posted by aj2703 over 6 years ago

Google employees get a good enough connection anyway.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
@dustofnations (NSA) (CIA) (CEO attends Bilderberg Group meeting) (CEO's take on privacy)
Posted by otester over 6 years ago (Critisms of Google)
Posted by dustofnations over 6 years ago
Except that those sources are either to do with illicit behaviour of some employees, data handling within their applications etc. That has nothing to do with them setting up a physical network and providing a service, nowhere is it implied that they will be intercepting user's data at the provision level. I realise Google is large enough to become unpopular, and has made its fair share of boo-boos, but I think this is Argumentum Ad Hominem rather than any fair attack on the project in hand.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago

They have a revolving door the with the government and there is nothing to stop them.

Speculation to an extent but judging by their previous actions I would be concerned.
Posted by greemble over 6 years ago
like otester, I rather consider the data mining would be an expectation, giving the track record of Google and it's main method of generating revenue.

Nowhere is it implied that this is what they'll do, but it wasn't implied when they sent their camera cars out to map out WiFi networks, neither was it implied when they bought out Keyhole Earthviewer (Google Earth).
Posted by greemble over 6 years ago
If Google sets up a fibre network with data streams running thought it's own system, it's highly likely that there will be a certain amount of mining taking place - if only for 'traffic monitoring' and future development' purposes - at first.

As a thought, is this only for Kansas City, Kansas or is Kansas City, Missouri included in the fibre network?
Posted by john (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
Kansas City, Kansas, not Missouri.
Posted by greemble over 6 years ago
So the larger half of the city is not getting fibre?
How annoying for them living on the wrong side of the river...
Posted by otester over 6 years ago

I think this is more of a trial, Google's intentions will probably be to expand as much as possible.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
Once the fibre network is built, and people see how great real internet access can be the network will expand. Great for Kansas, and great for America, because it will challenge preconceptions, raise awareness and stimulate the market. Go Google. JFDI.
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 6 years ago
Once the fibre network is built, and people see how contended 1Gbps fibre actually is, or how much they will have to pay to actually get 1Gbps continually expansion will likely slow down.

Given the cost of data transfer in the backhaul, this will be so heavily contended if it is rolled out, I'd guess however that this is not noticed in the trial due to small volumes of users.

How long before people complain that they only ever get 50Mbps throughput for their $45 per month of whatever they are charged.
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 6 years ago
Look at uptake for VM 50Mb, or FTTC 40Mb. People are simply cheap and not willing to pay more than the minimum to get a connection. Users will get a shock when they realise they will have to pay more than £6.49 per month or whatever ridiculously low price they currently pay.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago

Complain all they like, they deserve it, while those that pay a premium for a better service can sit back and put their feet up.

VM's problem is local congestion, their current infrastructure simply cannot support current demand levels, pre-50Mb bandwidth was ~38Mbps per cabinet IIRC.

Also their prices may seem low for the speed you get but remember VM owns their own network.

Posted by otester over 6 years ago
BT has it easier since each user per cabinet is dedicated 15Mbps.

LLU providers can currently supply unmetered 16Mbps services, so this should work quite well once an LLU style system comes to FTTC eventually, I think their is currently no LLU system for FTTC so BT can get investment back even if they choose an alternative BTW reseller.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
cyberdoyle, keep leaving the dream, uncontended gig access for everyone? Any idea how big the core network would need to be to make that reality?

It won't stimulate the market at all, faster speeds + lower pricing will kill the market
Posted by otester over 6 years ago

Offer Usenet + VPN for torrenting, now people have a reason, a few copytards will moan but all will be well.
Posted by dustofnations over 6 years ago
I'd go with Otester on his/her last point; there is no real disadvantage to putting a high bandwidth infrastructure such as this in place. Even if present it were not utilised to maximum capacity, it avoids digging up the roads later for the "last mile(s)" upgrade. As more and better techs that can be used to improve the back-hauls, the benefits can be passed on. This is far easier than repeatedly digging up the roads to go from copper (xDSL), to shorter copper (VDSL,DOCSIS), to "slow" fibre (100+), to faster fibre (1000+-more strands etc).
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
I'm not questioning the to the premises connection I'm talking about the bandwidth, to be able to give 1Gb throughput to all of your customers would require a huge core, many businesses don't even have such connections.

In this country the take up of 50Mb is poor, I expect 100Mb to be even less, while I'm all for providing fibre to the premises I don't think there's any need at all to open up the tap fully
Posted by otester over 6 years ago

The choice is really down to consumers if they all did what I said in my previous comment, we'd see a change pretty quick, budget ISP's would collapse or be forced to up prices etc.
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.