Google names Kansas City, KS, FTTH test bed city

Approximately three months after its initial deadline, Google has named Kansas City, KS, as what it implied would be the first partner city in which it will test 1-Gbps fiber to the home (FTTH).

Approximately three months after its initial deadline, Google has named Kansas City, KS, as what it implied would be the first partner city in which it will test 1-Gbps fiber to the home (FTTH).

Google made its announcement on its blog at 9:00 AM this morning in a post authored by Milo Medin, Google’s recently hired vice president, access services.

Kansas City made the cut after nearly 1,100 cities responded to Google’s FTTH testbed RFI (see "Google evaluates FTTH submissions"). “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,” Google said in the blog post. “We’ve found this in Kansas City.”

Google says it plans to begin offering services in Kansas City early in 2012, pending approval from the city’s board of commissioners. It promises to provide updates on its progress at www.google.com/fiber/kansascityks.

In developing these services, Google says it will work closely with such anchor institutions and civic organizations as Kauffman Foundation, KCNext, and the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Details of the network architecture were not provided in the blog post nor during an announcement ceremony held this afternoon at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City. However, Google states in an FAQ page about the project that “we plan to manage the development and deployment of this network, working closely with outside vendors.” It also says that it will be working with the local utility company.

Google first announced on February 10, 2010, its intention to create an FTTH testbed that would feature 1-Gbps connections. The goal at the time was to announce at least one partner by the end of the year. However, after being inundated with responses, Medlin announced in December that the company would need more time to choose its first network location (see “Google: No FTTH testbed choice this year”).

It appears that Google won’t stop with the Kansas City deployment. Said Sergey Brin, co-founder and president of Google, in a video posted as part of the blog, “We’re rolling out to communities starting with Kansas City... 1 Gbps of access to every home.”


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