Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

Kansas City (Kansas) Picked for Google Fiber Project

The announcement at last:


I'm now working with a group that will try to apply some of the lessons learned through the Google initiative to develop more ultra-high-speed broadband communities around universities.  Stay tuned!

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Comment by David Lassner on May 1, 2011 at 6:43pm

Some progress for Hawaii: the legislature is now poised to pass HB1342, which would ease broadband permitting and pole use.  Ability to deploy broadband infrastructure without jumping through obstructive hoops is one of the compelling advantages Kansas City, Kansas offered that Hawaii could not, no matter how much we wanted Google Fiber here.

Comment by David Lassner on April 3, 2011 at 9:12am

Here's the best thing I've seen so far about what actually happened:

I think we can see many many advantages KCK was able to leverage to make Google believe they'd be able to deploy and apply the fiber infrastructure.  A few points caught my eye.


Lots of External Fiber Connectivity

"Kansas City has long been a railroad hub. And rail right-of-ways have been prime places for running fiber-optic wire. If a region doesn’t have a lot of fiber coming in, there’s little point in installing the wire that expensive last mile to the home. It would be like paving eight-lane expressways in a town that’s connected to the rest of the country with a two-lane gravel road."


Easy Access to Infrastructure

"The county and city governments of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., are combined. Fewer bureaucrats to haggle with. The local electric provider — a key player in sharing utility poles and buried conduit — is publicly owned."


Successful Track Record on Public-Private Partnerships

"After all, since the Unified Government was created in 1997 it had landed the Kansas Speedway project. It parlayed that to land huge retailers like Nebraska Furniture Mart and then a year ago snatched a development deal that included the Sporting Kansas City professional soccer stadium and 4,000 new Cerner Corp. jobs. The Hollywood Casino will open near the track next year. 'We felt we could offer a track record of showing how that idea of public-private partnerships can become reality,' Mayor Joe Reardon said."

Check out the timeline at the bottom of the article. I was struck by the speed and decisiveness with which government acted.


We have a long way to go on some of these, but as they say, it's a journey.



Comment by Matt Goodman on March 31, 2011 at 8:53am


I will say this to everyone's credit - there sure was a lot of community support for this. Especially TechHui getting behind it :)


We can always dream, can't we?

Comment by Daniel Leuck on March 30, 2011 at 1:04pm
Hey Guys - We can only speculate as to Google's motivations, but we always knew it was a long shot due to the logistic and political challenges in Hawaii. Even thought it didn't go our way, I'm glad that our (i.e. TechHuians) efforts contributed to community awareness of the importance of prevalent high speed connectivity in Hawaii. This is not the end of the road. Multiple high speed initiatives are underway.
Comment by Matt Goodman on March 30, 2011 at 12:12pm

Well I apologize for starting a rumor-mill thread, but since you asked here's one link that stands out right away:


There are some other discussions on Slashdot at the moment. Keeping an eye on it. I hope you are right about more communities being selected.

Comment by Rubén Peña on March 30, 2011 at 12:07pm

Aloha Techui'ans!


Matt, are you saying that Sprint politically motivated Google to choose Kansas City for stragically selfish business reasons?  Since when does a small time player like Sprint have the clout & muscle to get their way with the likes of Google?  How did this happen, exactly? Where/What is the motivation for Google to comply?  This doesn't sound like Google nor of it's corporate culture -- it would be very disappointing if this were the case, and would diminish Google's credibility as a benevolent human-interest High Technology Company and could also potentially open Google up to lawsuits for being unfairly biased and misleading the ~1,100 applicant communities across the USA that submitted applications to bid for being considered fairly by Google.


It's a good thing then that Dan Leuck didn't perform a "Full Monty" on Hawaii's behalf to get Google's attention!!


Perhaps only Kansas City was chosen as the sole pilot trial location, but the good news is that ultimately Google is driving (along with the FCC and other partners) to have ultra-high speed fiber network internet connectivity as the standard norm EVERYWHERE in the USA (including Hawai'i), and I cant wait to see that happen!!


Also, it seems these Google WEB sites are contradictory ...

> the 1st link mentions that Google "... will announce our target community or communities".

> but then the 2nd link mentions that Google is planning to build and test ultra high-speed broadband networks "in a small number of trial locations across the United States" and this is confirmed by the embedded video presentation by Mr. James Kelly, Product Manager on Google's infrastructure Team where he mentions "in the selected locations we will offer internet connections upto 100x faster than what many Americans have access to today ...".  

> Then the third links mentions "Google is planning to build, and test ultra-high speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the country."


So it is somewhat misleading & disappointing.  Typically Google's messages are crystal clear, simple, straight-forward with zero ambiguity, and seems to always side with the Customer giving them the benefit of the doubt.  But I guess not in this case.


Here are some original links for Google's GigaBit Network, so you can check out their wording:




Comment by Cameron Souza on March 30, 2011 at 10:50am
I guess its impossible to know if we had a chance, but there is something to be said for fighting the good fight.
Comment by Matt Goodman on March 30, 2011 at 10:33am


Watch for a future partnership between Google and Sprint. This announcement has been harshly criticized for looking like a strategic move rather than the human-interest motive they initially announced. Sprint has a major point of presence in KC, Kansas - and would likely be the first choice if they wanted to serve their own interests instead of those in the municipality they chose to bestow this great honor.


Someone asked why wasn't Hawaii chosen? I guess now it's apparent that we never even had a chance. What a let-down.


Comment by Rubén Peña on March 30, 2011 at 9:44am

Aloha Fellow Techui'ans!!


Im somewhat confused.  Wasn't the winning pool of select communities chosen for Google's GigaBit Networksupposed to be "in a small number of trial locations across the country" (the number I heard kicked around was between 50~60 initial trial locations).


So then why is Kansas City, Kansas the 'only' winner announced by Google??  With ~1,000 applicants and a pool of 50~60 to be chosen as pilot trial beta site winners, I would have thought for sure Hawaii would have been a shoe-in as one of the pilot trial locations chosen, especially since we have the most compelling list of business, economic, social, need-based reasons, etc. by far verses almost any other of the 1,000's applicants submitted from across the USA.


So, can someone shed light as to why there is just 1 chosen pilot trial beta site winner, aka Kansas City, Kansas??


Here are some original links for Google's GigaBit Network, so you can check out their wording:




Comment by Daniel Leuck on March 30, 2011 at 9:20am
We congratulate the folks in Kansas City and look forward to finding new opportunities to bring ultra-high speed broadband to Hawaii such as the $36M broadband project at UH. Good luck David! We appreciate your efforts.


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