Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Answers to your town hall questions – Part II

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 kansascity-fiber@google.com, and we’ll do our best to respond as soon as possible.