March 20, 2013 By News Staff
Less than 25 miles southwest of Kansas City, Olathe, Kan., will welcome Google's ultra-fast fiber network to its community. As reported by ArsTechnica, the City Council approved an agreement with Google at its meeting March 19. With a population of more than 125,000, Olathe is the fifth most populous city in the state.
Said to be 100 times faster than commercially available Internet service, Google will build out its gigabit network in Olathe based on the demand model employed in nearby Kansas City, the first metropolitan area to enter into this kind of partnership with the Internet giant. Individual neighborhoods will be able to pre-register their interest in Google fiber, and those areas, or "fiberhoods," meeting certain signup thresholds will receive priority when it comes time to build the network.
“Technology has influenced the way we live and work in Olathe,” said Mayor Michael Copeland in a statement. “Tonight’s announcement is about our future and the endless possibilities for Olathe students, businesses and entrepreneurs who will no doubt leverage this technology and connectivity to achieve things that are truly innovative and transformational.”
Rachel Hack, community manager for Google Fiber, reported via a company blog post March 19 that a schedule for pre-registration and construction in Olathe is not yet available. Hack did mention that there will likely be additional communities in Kansas making similar announcements in the future.
"Hopefully, this is the first of several announcements that we'll be able to make about bringing Google Fiber to additional cities in the KC metro area; so stay tuned," Hack wrote.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.