Kansas City’s years of experience with gigabit will once again allow it to play Internet instructor. “Attendees expressed a lot of value from the first summit, and we’ve only seen growth in both gigabit fiber deployments and the smart city movement in the U.S.” – Aaron Deacon
Thanks to popular demand, non-profit organization KC Digital Drive announced that it will host the second-annual Gigabit City Summit May 16 – 18.
“Attendees expressed a lot of value from the first summit, and we’ve only seen growth in both gigabit fiber deployments and the smart city movement in the U.S.” – Aaron Deacon
The summit will welcome dozens of cities to learn from Kansas City’s experience with gigabit Internet access and how to tap its infrastructure — including fiber, Internet of things, Wi-Fi, and others — for maximum impact.
Ever since Google Fiber’s arrival in Kansas City in 2012, area tech leaders have served as makeshift sensemakers for other cities interested in attaining the infrastructure. The summit allows for a more formalized time and place to learn about opportunities, said Aaron Deacon, managing director of KC Digital Drive, which leads a variety of digital initiatives in the Kansas City metro.
“The Gigabit City Summit started because cities want to know how to take advantage of new tech-driven city infrastructure,” Deacon said. “We’ve seen that cities who start with an interest in fiber quickly recognize the need for social capacity around things like digital inclusion, their innovation ecosystem, entrepreneurship, meaningful pilots in healthcare, and education. Organizations like KC Digital Drive are popping up in other gigabit cities, and we are looking to foster the growth of this network.”
Deacon said that the January summit drew 225 attendees from 50 cities. KC Digital Drive expects to double those numbers for the 2016 summit.
“Attendees expressed a lot of value from the first summit, and we’ve only seen growth in both gigabit fiber deployments and the smart city movement in the U.S.,” he said. “From a more local perspective, our mission as an organization is to make Kansas City a digital leader — we see the Gigabit City Summit as a critical, ongoing opportunity to build Kansas City’s reputation in that regard. People loved coming to Kansas City the first time, even in the January cold, and they wanted to come back. The first time around, people wanted to know what we did with Google Fiber. We showed them that, but there is so much more.”
Programming for the May summit will include 101 “catch up” sessions for first-time attendees, while also expanding on the previous summit’s lessons. The summit will offer lessons on infrastructure deployments, educational technology, digital inclusion, smart city and gigabit applications.
The 2016 Gigabit City Summit will also work to engage the local Kansas City community, Deacon said. The inaugural summit was targeted exclusively toward other cities to help them understand the effects of and opportunities created by Google Fiber, he added.
“We need to do a better job engaging more of the local community in Kansas City who wants to participate,” Deacon said. “We will be more ecumenical as we grow. And hopefully, that will create more value for locals who want exposure to what’s happening in other smart, gigabit or digital cities.”
Find out more about the 2016 Gigabit City Summit here.