If you're in Kansas City in the next few weeks, you "may notice a few engineers walking around, consulting maps and surveying your street or neighborhood." These engineers are kicking off the next phase of Google Fiber--detail engineering, announced Kevin Lo, General Manager, Google Access.
That means that Google has started the next phase of bringing a 1 Gbps Internet service to the people of both Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas.
"There's still a lot of work to do before we can offer ultra high-speed broadband to Kansas City in early 2012," said Lo.
According to Lo's blog post, "The detail engineering phase will help us gather the geographical information we need to build the Google Fiber network later this year." It added, "You may also see these engineers counting or measuring telephone and utility poles. Their work may look a little strange to observers, but it will help us deploy Google Fiber to the community as quickly and efficiently as possible."
In news related to broadband internet, Google has now launched a much smaller 1 Gbps service in Stanford, California. "Google plans to offer Internet via dedicated fiber connections to approximately 850 homes and condominiums on campus," said Google Fiber spokeswoman Jenna Wandres.
According to the PaloAltoPatch web site, the service has come only for some of the faculty and students who live around Stanford University. That project is considered to be a beta test for the much larger Kansas City project.
Although the Stanford community was generally excited to be chosen, the privilege hasn't come free. "The fee to purchase and install Google Fiber from the property line in [one's] home will be $249 for professional installation and $49 for self-installation," Wandres said.
But almost all residents have been willing to pay the fee, and the project is well under way, with some Stanford customers already enjoying the ultra high-speed Internet.
"Some are already up," said a Google Fiber worker, who did not want to be identified. "It is up already on Cathcart Way and Mears Court."
Google Fiber has started expanding to cities beyond Stanford. "Stanford is Google Fiber's first testbed with real customers--we're also building a Google Fiber network in Kansas City, KS, and Kansas City, MO," Wandres said.
Google intends to make Google Fiber available for the general public in the near future. "We'll be looking closely at ways to bring ultra high-speeds to other cities across the country," Wandres said.
Google first announced back in March that Kansas City, Kansas had been selected for Google's 1 Gbps broadband service after going through thousands of applications from US cities. In May, Google announced that the neighboring and larger city of Kansas City, Missouri would also benefit from its broadband project. The service is expected to go live for at least some of the city's residents sometime in early 2012. So far Google has not announced what those citizens will have to pay to get the super fast broadband access.