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On March 30, 2011, Google announced that it would bring its new high-speed fiberoptic network to Kansas City, Kan. Residents and businesses would be able to connect at a speed of 1 gigabit per second, 100 times faster than the average American's connection speed. In May 2011, the company announced that the service would be extended to Kansas City, Mo., as well. On July 26, 2012, Google announced that it would launch a television service along with the internet service. The announcement marked a six-week rally during which interested people can pre-register for Google's services. The next big date is Sept. 9, 2012, at which point the pre-registration period is over, and Kansas Citians who've secured the service can begin to schedule installations.

Both Kansas Cities Chosen To Help Advance Digital Cities

Courtesy photo - KCMO

The White House on Monday recognized  Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas, as places where innovative tech things are happening.

On the first day of the Smart Cities Week conference in Washington, D.C., the White House unveiled a broad set of initiatives to support internet-based efforts nationwide. And metro Kansas City is involved directly or tangentially in a number of them.

For example, the cities are among 19 communities in the US Ignite program, which will receive federal funds for programs that take advantage of gigabit-enabled networks, such as Google Fiber, Verizon and Link KC.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the program  tries to help leaders use data and analytics in real time to improve city services. 

Aaron Deacon, of KCDigital Drive,says the White House recognition will help local Smart City leaders connect with those from other places and vice versa. 

"The idea is to help cities across the United States who are working on similar problems in the Smart City space to convene and share notes," Deacon says.

Deacon says local programs of national note are the Kansas City, Kansas "healthy campus" effort as well as the streetcar- based downtown Kansas City Smart City initiative.

The White House also announced it is doubling the number of communities and adding $80 million to the White House Smart Cities Initiative.

Laura Ziegler is a community engagement reporter and producer at KCUR 89.3. You can reach here on Twitter @laurazig or at lauraz@kcur.org.

I partner with communities to uncover the ignored or misrepresented stories by listening and letting communities help identify and shape a narrative. My work brings new voices, sounds, and an authentic sense of place to our coverage of the Kansas City region. My goal is to tell stories on the radio, online, on social media and through face to face conversations that enhance civic dialogue and provide solutions.
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