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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.

Kansas City Touted As 'The Place' For Startups

Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas City’s civic and business leaders are mounting a push to spawn high-tech companies here. Kansas City Mayor Sly James announced the Launch KC initiative on Monday: "We can build Kansas City into the place, the place, for startups to call home."

James says private sector businesses will do a lot of that, providing free office space and mentoring for new businesses. The city plans to come up with some money to help tech entrepreneurs offset equipment costs and build out Wi-Fi around the downtown area.

Mike Burke, who co-chairs the mayor's Bistate Innovations Team, says this is all about growing small companies rather than attracting larger ones from outside.

"We don't aspire to be Silicon Valley. We aspire to be Kansas City," says Burke, who credits Google Fiber with energizing the tech community and helping to get the ball rolling on Launch KC.

I’ve been at KCUR almost 30 years, working partly for NPR and splitting my time between local and national reporting. I work to bring extra attention to people in the Midwest, my home state of Kansas and of course Kansas City. What I love about this job is having a license to talk to interesting people and then crafting radio stories around their voices. It’s a big responsibility to uphold the truth of those stories while condensing them for lots of other people listening to the radio, and I take it seriously. Email me at frank@kcur.org or find me on Twitter @FrankNewsman.
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