KC’s going gaga for Google Fiber. But what will it mean? (Video)
Video from KCADC on Vimeo.
Amidst talk that Google is thinking about entering the TV game and speculation that Kansas City, with the impending arrival of Google's ultra high-speed network, is a good candidate to serve as a testing ground for the TV service, there's been an interesting confluence of buzz-building and reality-checking in the last few days regarding the company's fiber network.
In a video (see above) that aired Friday at the Kansas City Area Development Council's annual meeting, Google co-founder Sergey Brin and a handful of other folks from the company talk about the potential the ultra-high speed network holds for Kansas City. The 90-second video appears to have been cut from the same interviews as a video released in March, when Google first announced it was bringing its fiber network to Kansas City, but the newest video offers different insights.
Then, in a story published Sunday in the Kansas City Star ("Kansas City's Google superhighway has unclear destinations"), reporter Scott Canon tried to get at what exactly Google Fiber's arrival will mean to Kansas City. As Canon pointed out — and as we have documented on Silicon Prairie news — organizations, contests and other efforts have sprung up in anticipation of the arrival of the high-speed internet service. From Think Big Partners' Gigabit Challenge and the mayors' Bistate Innovation Team to the Social Media Club of Kansas City's Building the Gigabit City initiative and the Kauffman Foundation's KC Gig Ideas effort, there's ample evidence of excitement and interest over Google Fiber's arrival.
Less abundant is concrete knowledge of what the arrival of the service will actually mean for the Kansas City area. Telemedicine and distance education are often thrown around as a couple of fields that stand to benefit from the enhanced upload and download speeds, but …
“Nobody totally has their arms around this,” Mike Burke, co-chairman of the Bistate Innovation Team, told The Star. “There are great expectations that it’s going to change life as we know it overnight. That’s not the case. It’s how we grab the opportunity."
Rachel Hack, who in September was named as the community manager for the project, offered an interesting comparison: "Hack has suggested people in Kansas City think of the Google project like a pregnancy," The Star story says. "You may not know if you’ll have a boy or a girl, or exactly when it will arrive, but it still makes sense to get the nursery ready."
So how, beyond the efforts mentioned above, are Kansas Citians readying the nursery? And, more importantly, what do the people of the Silicon Prairie think Google Fiber's arrival will mean to the city? We plan to follow up with more coverage of this ongoing conversation. But, for now, feel free to share your thoughts by emailing us at email@example.com or sounding off in the comment section below.