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February 07, 2012

Lucky Kansas City Residents May Soon Have Connection to Lightning-Fast Google Fiber



By Tracey E. Schelmetic
TMCnet Contributor



Google (News - Alert) Fiber may sound a bit like a high-tech breakfast cereal, but it's actually a multi-city experiment in super-fast Internet being conducted by the search giant.

Google announced the project not long ago in a blog post saying it had chosen Kansas City, Kansas as its first market, with plans to press into neighboring Kansas City, Missouri. The company began by first laying the down the “fiber backbone,” throughout the cities, and will proceed by beginning to connect homes to that backbone. This should allow some lucky customers to surf, stream, download and upload fast than the rest of us can think.

“As we build out Google Fiber, we’ll be taking thousands of miles of cables and stretching them across Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri. Each cable contains many thin glass fibers, each about the width of a human hair. We’ll be taking these cables and weaving them into a fiber backbone—a completely new high speed infrastructure that will ultimately be carrying Kansas Citians’ data at speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have today.”

(No, I'm not sure “Kansas Citians” is a real word, either.)

While Google broadens the venture in the Midwest, it's also broadening manpower on the project at its home office. Business Insider is reporting that the company is “hiring like crazy” for the Google Fiber experiment in its headquarters in Mountain View, California, job postings in LinkedIn (News - Alert) have shown. A spokesperson told Business Insider that these new engineers will be working on getting the Kansas City network up and running, rather than working on new cities.

So if you're lucky enough to get an early connection to Google Fiber, what will you get out of it? In addition to super-fast Internet, there are rumors that Google intends to bring pay TV services to some customers with a mind toward providing badly needed competition for cable providers.

Google recently hired a former cable executive, Jeremy Stern, to talk to content providers, says Business Insider; its planned purchase of Motorola (News - Alert) Mobility could give it technology for use in TV set top boxes.




Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell
 
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