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Google starts construction for its Kansas City network

Posted By TelecomTV One , 07 February 2012 | 0 Comments | (0)
Tags: Google Fibre Broadband

After selecting Kansas City from thousands of other contenders to be its first Fibre City, Google gets down to the actual work of rolling out the network. Guy Daniels reports.

Writing on his company blog yesterday, Kevin Lo, general manager of Google Access, told the world that they are now ready to start laying fibre in Kansas City – the first of what could be several ‘Google Fibre Cities’ in the US and maybe beyond:


“We’ve measured utility poles; we’ve studied maps and surveyed neighbourhoods; we’ve come up with a comprehensive set of detailed engineering plans; and we’ve eaten way too much barbecue. Now, starting today, we’re ready to lay fibre.”


Having initially selected just the part of Kansas City that fell within the Kansas state border, Google later expanded its plans to include the area that resides in neighbouring Missouri. The goal was to create a 1Gbit/s service for the city, in order to showcase the abilities of a truly high-speed and citywide network.

Lo says that the first job is to create the backbone:


“At first, we’ll focus on building this solid fibre backbone. Then, as soon as we have an infrastructure that is up and running, we’ll be able to connect Google Fiber into homes across Kansas City.”


With serious interest a year ago from over 1,100 cities and communities in the US, Google may well expand its plans and build networks in more than the one location. When it announced that Kansas City had won its competition in May 2011, Google executives showed signs of backtracking on the original plan for just one winner. However, there is still no positive word that a second city project will definitely be undertaken.


Back in October, though, the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch website suggested that if another city were to be selected, it might not necessarily be in the US. It quoted Google SVP David Drummond as saying the company is considering building a fibre network in a European country. Here’s what the site said:


“During a meeting at the French Industry Ministry, Drummond said that Google was ‘looking very closely’ at a potential project in Europe, without specifying where this project would be launched or when.”


The EU Commission has stated that it wants broadband connections of 30Mbit/s to be available to all 500 million EU residents by 2020. With just eight years to go and an unfavourable economic outlook for Europe, there is little sign that the established broadband operators will rise to the challenge, which is expected to cost upwards of €300 billion.


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