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Google to make fiber announcement next week

Thu, 07/19/2012 - 3:10pm
The Associated Press

Search engine giant Google is planning an announcement next week in Kansas City about its ultra-high-speed Internet network, but it declined to give any details Wednesday.

The company didn't even say where the 10:30 a.m. announcement will take place, instead referring to its blog and a note that says Google Fiber is coming to Kansas City on July 26.

The company has been adding fiber lines on both sides of the state line for several months after saying last year the metro area would be the first in the nation to get its broadband service. More than 1,100 cities throughout the country made bids to become a test site for the company's network, which would provide Internet connections of 1 Gbps.

In March 2011, Google announced it had picked Kansas City, Kan., as the inaugural site for its "Fiber for Communities" program, which is expected to deliver Internet access 100 times faster than broadband connections offered by telephone and cable companies.

Two months later, the company said it had reached a deal with Kansas City, Mo., to run the high-speed fiber optics across the Missouri River and into the city. The first customers were expected to go online sometime in the middle of this year.

While Google was trying to decide where to locate its first experimental fiber network in 2010, many communities used gimmicks to get the company's attention. Topeka informally renamed itself "Google, Kansas." A group in Baltimore launched a website that used Google mapping to plot the location of more than 1,000 residents and give their reasons for wanting the service. And hundreds of groups on Facebook implored Google to come to their cities.

A spokeswoman for the company told The Associated Press that Google wasn't revealing much in advance so it could make a big splash July 26.

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