Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Google Fiber Coming to Grandview

By Paul Thompson

Like a healthy diet, a healthy internet connection in Kansas City has become synonymous with fiber. Now, Google’s lauded high-speed fiber network is coming to Grandview.
The city of Grandview will get their taste of the Google Fiber’s one gigabyte connection speeds now that it has officially signed an agreement to become Missouri’s second city to receive the new service. The city held a special 6:45 p.m. meeting of the Board of Aldermen on Tuesday, May 7, where the board finalized the agreement to bring Google Fiber to Grandview.
Grandview Mayor Steve Dennis said that talks with Google progressed rapidly over the past several months.
“They gave us a call probably three, four months ago,” said Dennis. “It’s progressed very quickly in the last two months with Cory, and Dennis, and myself.”
Grandview joins Kansas City (Missouri and Kansas), Olathe, Shawnee, and Raytown in announcing their imminent inclusion in Google’s high-speed internet network.
“Raytown announced last Friday, but they do not have an approved agreement yet,” said Grandview city administrator Cory Smith. “We now have our agreement approved before they do.”
Just as in Google’s Kansas City launch of their fiber internet services last year, Grandview will be split up into “fiber-hoods” that will decide which areas of the city will get the service first. Grandview officials are looking forward to working with Google to drum up support for the service among city residents.
“We want to work with them on that,” said Smith. “Their public relations person has already contacted ours. I’m sure they have some ideas about how to get the word out.”
Grandview makes a strong fit for Google Fiber, not only because it is surrounded by Kansas City, but also because the area of the city is relatively small compared to some of the other municipalities in the region.
“We told them upfront that we are fairly small, but dense,” said Smith. “They don’t have a whole lot of area to work with. They can have most of the city completed in fairly short order.”
Smith expects that Google Fiber will serve as an ideal marketing tool as Grandview continues to work on their next stage of redevelopment.
“It makes us look like a pretty progressive, high-tech area,” Smith said. “Google will put us on the map in another way.”
Mayor Dennis knows that the presence of Google Fiber could be a major boon for Grandview.
“I am incredibly thrilled for the city, because this gives us opportunities that we didn’t have before,” Dennis said. “I think everybody should be excited. We’ve got a lot of opportunities in the city of Grandview, but this is certainly a big one.”