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A few weeks ago we announced that we’d started hanging fiber on utility poles throughout Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO. Construction is now in full swing and our crews have already hung over 100 miles of fiber!
To get a better idea of how our build has been going so far, I sat down with John Toccalino, a manager on our fiber project and asked him a few questions.
Q: So, John, first can you give a quick explanation about how Google Fiber will work?
A: Sure. Here’s a basic diagram of our network. As you can see, we’ll be routing fiber connection into Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO through several equipment aggregator huts, aka “Google Fiber Huts.” From the Google Fiber Huts, the fiber cables will travel along utility poles into neighborhoods and homes.
The benefit of this model is simple: every home that has Google Fiber service will have their very own fiber-optic cable that directly connects all the way back to the Internet backbone.

A diagram of the basic Google Fiber infrastructure.

Q: I see a label on your diagram, “Gigabit Symmetric Fiber Connectivity.” What does that mean?
A: Well, with most standard broadband connections, it is much faster to download a file than it is to upload one of the same size. That’s because most of the bandwidth, or the network’s capacity, is devoted to the content that users are trying to view online, such as their email or streaming video on sites like YouTube.
But with Google Fiber, our users will be able to download and upload files at the exact same speed. Think about being able to upload that huge powerpoint presentation you made for work, or that video of your child’s first steps in mere seconds!
Q: Very cool. Now let’s get to the nuts and bolts of what’s happening right now. What are the Google Fiber construction crews busy doing?
A: We’re working on 2 pieces of fiber infrastructure right now: installing fiber and building the Google Fiber Huts.
Most of our crews are out on boom trucks every day, hanging fiber on utility poles throughout Kansas City. A few of our crews are also busy digging trenches to install fiber underground.
We’re making good progress on the Google Fiber Huts as well—we’ve already built half of them!
Q: Where exactly have the crews been working?
A: We’re not focused in any one location. We’re working throughout Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO!
Q: What’s the next step in construction?
A: Well, we still have a while before infrastructure is complete. Kansas City is big, and we have to hang fiber throughout almost all of it. Once we’re done with that, we can move to the next step where we’ll be connecting fiber to homes.

A Google Fiber crew gets ready to hang fiber cables from a Kansas City utility pole.

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Since we announced Google Fiber, we have heard a lot of rumors that we’ve been building a fiber optic network that would deliver Internet speeds 100 times faster than what most Americans have today, and while we are humbled by these speculations, we have focused our efforts on developing a different kind of fiber, Google Fiber.
At Google, we push the limits of technology to improve our users’ lives. As we started thinking about fiber, we realized that there hadn’t been real innovation in the fiber world in a very long time. Although we push our bodies to do more and be more productive every day, we still rely on outdated sources of fiber and nutrients.
Today, after extensive testing, we’re launching Google Fiber, a nutritional bar with a smarter fiber we’ve coded as ‘Fiberlicious.’ In just 4 weeks, Google’s Fiber is able to take cues from the intestinal tract and the body’s metabolism to determine what nutritional elements are missing and deliver the appropriate dose to the specific organ that needs it. We’re proud to announce that Google Fiber will first launch in Kansas City, KS and Kansas City, MO!

Joe Reardon, Mayor Kansas City, KS and Sly James, Mayor, Kansas City, MO at the launch of Google Fiber

Google Fiber helps increase productivity, bolster efficiency and gives your body all it needs to lead a healthy lifestyle, allowing you to make the most of your health, one byte at a time. Get your own supply of Google Fiber today.

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We’ve measured utility poles; we’ve studied maps and surveyed neighborhoods; we’ve come up with a comprehensive set of detailed engineering plans; and we’ve eaten way too much barbecue. Now, starting today, we’re ready to lay fiber.
As we build out Google Fiber, we’ll be taking thousands of miles of cables and stretching them across Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri. Each cable contains many thin glass fibers, each about the width of a human hair. We’ll be taking these cables and weaving them into a fiber backbone—a completely new high speed infrastructure that will ultimately be carrying Kansas Citians’ data at speeds more than 100 times faster than what most Americans have today.
At first, we’ll focus on building this solid fiber backbone. Then, as soon as we have an infrastructure that is up and running, we’ll be able to connect Google Fiber into homes across Kansas City!
As we build, we’ll be sure to post more important updates and announcements right here.

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As 2011 draws to a close, we want to thank Google Fiber enthusiasts for such a great year. We hope you have a very happy holiday season, and we wish you the best for 2012!

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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.

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Last week we posted some of the top questions and answers from our recent town hall event. As promised, here’s part two –

Q: What type of direct economic impact will this project have on residents of Kansas City?
A: This will be different from any broadband deployment that has ever been done before, so it’s difficult to predict or calculate an exact economic impact. That said, we strongly believe that this type of infrastructure will give the Kansas City region a competitive advantage over areas across the country, and that this advanced connectivity will attract entrepreneurs, innovators, and businesses to the region – which will lead to economic development and growth.

Q: Will Google be hiring locally?

A: There will be construction and engineering jobs, and to the extent that local providers are the right fit, they will be hired. But to be clear, we’re not planning to build a Google campus here or hire large numbers of local employees.

Q: Will Google be building a data center here?

A: We have no current plans to build a data center in Kansas City.

Q: How is Google planning to engage the community and bridge the digital divide?

A: We’ve just stared our initial outreach, but we’re very interested in reaching out to all community groups that share our commitment to getting more people online.

Q: Will Google’s infrastructure be open to other companies?

A: We plan to offer ultra high-speed Internet access directly to consumers at an affordable price. We look forward to sharing more information as we begin to develop more specific plans.

Q: What will this actually look like inside my home? Will I connect my computer via a regular Ethernet connection?

A: There are many types of homes and many different approaches for converting an ultra high-speed signal from fiber to Ethernet, and we’re working to provide efficient solutions for each.

Q: Are you planning to introduce courses or programs to help take advantage of fiber?

A: We’ll be looking to partner with local organizations to help share knowledge and uses of this new technology. Stay tuned.

Q: What schools will receive free Internet service? Will you include religious and private schools?

A: As part of our agreements with Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, Google will connect hundreds of educational and public entities as we build out our network. Each city will determine those locations.

Q: How will this project be integrated into Google’s green energy projects?

A: As part of the project, Google has agreed to explore with Kansas City different potential uses of a ultra high speed fiber network, including the city's existing smart grid program. We look forward to sharing more information as we begin to develop more specific plans.

Have a question that’s not answered here? Please feel free to write us at, and we’ll do our best to respond as soon as possible.

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Earlier this spring I had the pleasure of meeting with hundreds of members of the Kansas City, Kansas, community at a town hall meeting, where I answered some questions about our project. It was a great conversation, and as a follow-up I wanted to post some of the top questions and answers from the event.

Below you’ll find some of the most commonly asked questions about Google Fiber. We’ll be posting a second round of responses next week.

In the meantime, feel free to send your questions to – we’ll do our best to respond as soon as possible.

Q: Google is a search engine – why are you building an ultra high-speed fiber network?

A: Our business is built on the success of the web. We believe that building an ultra high-speed broadband network will help move the web forward and push the boundaries of technology – that’s good for users and good for Google.

Q: Will Google be providing TV and phone service, or are you focused on Internet connectivity?

A: For now we’re focused on providing ultra high-speed Internet connectivity. We want to hear from Kansas City residents what additional services they would find most valuable before announcing any additional commitments.

Q: Will you be expanding your project to other communities in the region?

A: We’ll be looking closely at ways to bring ultra high-speeds to other communities in the future, but we don’t have any plans to announce at this time. For now our focus is on Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri.

Q: How much will it cost?

A: It's too early to say how much we plan to charge for service, but we do plan to set prices that are competitive to what people are currently paying for broadband access.

Q: When can I sign up?

A: We plan to offer service beginning in 2012. We plan to begin advance sign-ups in Q4 of this year, and our goal is to offer service starting in 2012.

Q: Will Google be deploying technologies that the Kansas City community will be the first to see?
A: We’ll have more to share in the future – but yes, our network will be cutting-edge!

Q: What is Google doing to ensure accessibility?

A: Google’s mission to make the world’s information more accessible applies to all users, including people with disabilities, such as blindness, visual impairment, color deficiency, deafness, hearing loss and limited dexterity. To learn more, please visit our Accessibility at Google site.

Q: Will you be supporting IPv6?

A: Yes, we plan to make our network IPv6 ready. To learn more about IPv6, check out this page.

Q: How will my privacy be protected?

We intend to operate this network in a way that's fully consistent with our design principles with respect to privacy. We will design strong privacy protections for user data into the offering, and provide users with a robust set of choices about their use of this and other Google services.

Q: Is Google working with manufacturers to make sure computers will be able to take advantage of gigabit speeds?

A: Yes, manufacturers are already paying attention, and almost all new products coming to market today are capable of handling gigabit speeds.

Next week I’ll be sharing more Q&A – so stay tuned to this blog for the latest.

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Greetings from Kansas City, Missouri!

I’m here this morning to announce that Google’s ultra high-speed broadband service is coming to the City of Fountains – Kansas City, Missouri. In March we were on the other side of the river, announcing plans to bring ultra high-speeds to Kansas City, Kansas. We promised that would be the start – not the end – of our efforts, and we’re thrilled to be able to take this next step and expand the project to the broader region. Residents of both KCMO and KCK will have access to our service starting in 2012.

We’ll be working closely with Mayor Sly James, the city government, and Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) – the first investor-owned utility in the world to take on this kind of effort – to deliver Internet speeds 100 times faster than what most people have access to today.

It’s fitting that this morning’s announcement will take place at Kansas City’s historic Union Station. Beautifully restored in the 1990s, this landmark unites the region and reminds us how infrastructure can drive innovation and opportunity. We hope to achieve the same result by connecting both KCMO and KCK with ultra high-speeds.

Google took on this project because we’re committed to moving the web forward. Just as the move from dial-up to broadband led to new and unpredictable innovations, we believe ultra high-speed bandwidth will push the web to even greater heights – and we couldn’t imagine a better place to start than the Kansas City region. With or without Google Fiber, this area is a hub for technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship, with a diverse population that represents the rest of the country.

Going forward, we’ll continue to talk to other cities about the possibility of us bringing Google Fiber to their communities. For now, we can’t wait to see how the Kansas City region comes together to benefit from this kind of connectivity.

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Today we’re taking the wraps off our new Google Fiber Blog, which we hope will become your first stop for the latest news from the team working to deliver ultra high-speed broadband.

In the coming weeks and months, we’ll offer up posts on what we’re up to in Kansas City, who we are, and how we think about broadband infrastructure. We also plan to share more on what we learn from you – including what applications you want to see and how you think gigabit speeds will change the way you use the web. We want this blog to be a one-stop shop, so while we’re only just now launching, we’ve included below several months’ worth of prior posts dating back to our first fiber announcement in February 2010.

We hope you’ll check back often to read the latest updates from our team. We’re also very interested in reading what you have to say, so we’ve enabled comments. We invite you to share your comments on any post below – we’ll be reading every one, and we’ll be doing our best to respond.

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