Five years ago today, the Kansas City area heard the news that it would receive a transformative, residential gigabit Internet service.
Hundreds of cities lobbied to be the first to receive Google Fiber, but ultimately, Kansas City, Kan. won the highly-sought-after service. And the world learned that on March 30, 2011.
Five years later, Google Fiber — which delivers speeds of 1,000 megabits per second — has helped catalyze an entrepreneurial rebirth in the Kansas City metro.
Google Fiber gave rise to the Kansas City Startup Village, which attracted innovators and visitors from around the world to its entrepreneurial hamlet. It offered Kansas City ambassadors, politicians and businesspeople a well-publicized selling point of their hometown. It garnered boatloads of national and international press, thereby energizing citizens and the economy. Eventually, Kansas City became a tech teacher to other cities implementing gigabit service.
But perhaps most importantly, Google Fiber gave Kansas City swagger. While the area’s famous humility remained, the city was in part validated as an up-and-coming community. Google Fiber continues to expand throughout the metro area, laying miles of fiber and offering sign-ups to dozens of neighborhoods.
Much has occurred since that 2011 announcement. Here’s a timeline of events in the last five years.
- March 30, 2011 – Kansas City, Kansas, was selected from over 1,100 applicants to be the first Google Fiber community
- May 17, 2011 – Kansas City, Mo. announcement
- July 26, 2012 – Google Fiber kicked off a six-week rally to determine priority order of “fiberhoods” based on the number of early expressions of interest for service
- September 13, 2012 – Google Fiber initiates sign-ups offering three service plans: Gigabit + TV, Gigabet Internet only and Free Basic Internet service
- November 13, 2012 – Installation to homes begins in KCK and KCMO
- March to August 2013 – Expansion announcements of neighboring communities in KC metro
- August 14, 2013 – Announcement of Kansas City Digital Inclusion Fund
- September, 2015 — Google funded over 4,190,000 of all requested back-to-school supplies in Kansas City through DonorsChoose.org
- November 22, 2014 – Kick-off for Google Fiber’s early access program for Small Businesses in Kansas City, MO
- March 3, 2015 – Google Fiber for Small Business expands to Kansas City North and South
- May 21, 2015 – Launched Digital Inclusion Fellowship with NTEN
- July 15, 2015 – ConnectHome initiative announced for all Google Fiber markets
- February 3, 2016 – ConnetHome installation announcement with HUD Secretary