Google Inc. picked Kansas City, Kan., for its super high-speed Internet service, which when deployed promises to be 100 times faster than what is available for many users today.
More than 1,100 cities entered Google's contest, which the company launched with much fanfare early last year. Google said it would build and pay for a fiber-optic network capable of 1 gigabit speeds in the winning community. Most U.S. homes paying for high-speed Internet connections receivedata at less than 10 megabits a second.
"In about 1995, 15 years ago roughly, everyone was living on 56 kilobits, and it was awful," said Patrick Pichette, Google's chief financial officer. "And then somebody invented a 5-meg modem, and everybody was saying, 'What are you going to do with 5 megs?....Think what you're going to do with a gigabit — 1,000 megabits."
Pichette spoke before a packed auditorium at Kansas City's Wyandotte High School, where Google announced the winner. On hand were Mayor Joe Reardon and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.