Last year, Google put out a call to communities, asking for their interest in becoming an experimental site for the company’s plans to build out an ultra-high speed Internet network. Over a 1000 cities applied for the chance to get Google Fiber, and Google has just announced its selection: Kansas City, Kansas.
The proposed network will clock in at speeds about 100 times faster than what most households in America currently have access to, reaching about 1 gigabit per second.
The new network will be built in conjunction with the city, according to Google, which says it plans to work closely with local organizations, businesses, and universities as the infrastructure is built.
Bringing Americans better access to high-speed Internet is part of this effort from Google and is also part of a U.S. government initiative as well, with its National Broadband Plan. The government recently released a map of broadband availability in the country, highlighting how much work needs to happen to bring better (or in places, any) high-speed Internet access.
Access is part of the problem, but so is speed. As we consume more video online – for business and pleasure – broadband speed becomes increasingly critical. Google also hopes that by supporting high-speed Internet, it will in turn spur more innovations around technologies that depend on it, particularly around universities and hospitals.
Google says that, pending approval from the Kansas City’s Board of Commissioners, the service will be available beginning next year. It also says it’s looking at ways to bring the same Internet speeds to other countries.