Google ready to lay fiber in Kansas City metro

Google is ready to move forward with rollout of fiber-optic cable and supporting infrastructure in Kansas City, MO, and Kansas City, KS.

The project, called Google Fiber, will see thousands of miles of fiber-optic cable laid across the bi-state area. When complete, residents of the cities will have access to data speeds in excess of 100 times what most Americans can receive from their Internet service providers.

Google announced that the studies, mapping and neighborhood surveys necessary to begin laying fiber for the gigabit-per-second broadband service were complete in a blog posting Feb. 6 from Kevin Lo, general manager, Google Access.

Once Google completes work on the fiber backbone, it will begin connecting homes across the metropolitan area to the fiber network.
The announcement is a positive development for the project, which ran into some delays. The Kansas City Star reported last month that differences between the company and the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities over where and how fiber-optic cable would be hung on existing utility poles was partly responsible for the delay.

When the project was announced last year, Google said it anticipated offering the fiber-optic-based broadband service to area residents in the first quarter of 2012, the paper reported.

Kansas City, KS, and later Kansas City, MO, were selected for the first test installation of Google Fiber project. The cities were selected from more than 1000 metro areas seeking the prize.

Although limited in scope, the initial Google Fiber installation prompted existing ISPs to offer customers greater-bandwidth Internet connections. A column in the online version of Time magazine goes so far as to suggest that once the public understands that much faster Internet speeds are available, ISPs may be shamed into stepping up their game.