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Google Fiber: Why does Kansas City get to go high-speed? (+video)

Super high-speed Internet comes to Kansas City, courtesy of Google. Business leaders hope lightning fast connections with spur innovation and jobs. Google looks to be expanding further from its original business of Internet searching.  

Kansas City gets wired for Google Fiber
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Imagine downloading the entire Godfather trilogy in high definition in about a minute. How about getting every single Beatles song from the iTunes store in even less time?

If you live in Kansas City, Kansas or Missouri, as of Thursday you have that option, brought to you by the same technology giant who turned an Internet search engine into a verb, a valuable stock, and a household name: Google.

The project to turn this Midwestern city of about 600,000 into a hub of hyper-fast Internet – called Google Fiber – is expected to yield tangible benefits for the local economy. As one of the most prominent launches of a citywide network, it could also highlight the broader issue of slow Internet – as speed becomes crucial for innovation in a digital economy.

“It raises the visibility of the city and the region as being a significant place to find both technology and entrepreneurs,” says Joni Cobb, president and CEO of Pipeline, an entrepreneurial fellowship program based in Kansas City. “It allows them to do everything faster, better, and cheaper.”

For $70 a month, Google Fiber offers an Internet hookup 100 times faster than average US broadband speeds, taking advantage of advanced networks of fiber-optic cables. It’s speedy enough to download an HD movie in a few seconds and it’s the type of network often called “future proof,” because it’s limited more by the computers sending information than by network speeds.

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