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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.

New Fund Aims To Increase Digital Literacy In Kansas City

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The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation Wednesday afternoon announced it would manage a fund aimed at bridging the digital divide in Kansas City.

Recent studies of digital literacy in Kansas City have shown a quarter of our residents don’t have broadband at home.  Seventeen percent don’t use the internet at all.

Wednesday’s announcement of the Kansas City Digital Inclusion Fund is aimed at raising those percentages.

Contributing to the new fund are local partners: Google Fiber, The Sprint and Illig Family Foundations, Polsinelli, Global Prairie and JE Dunn.

According to a Google Fiber blog post the goal of the fund is to support local non-profits and community organizations in efforts to take full advantage of the internet.

Groups can apply for grants to the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation.

The grants will be given to help groups in a variety of ways:

  • To fund work that helps Kansas Citians get online
  • Direct people to affordable computers
  • Learn job application skills
  • Help students learn how to do research online

The Greater Kansas City Community Foundation has information and grant guidelines for the new fund.

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. Email me at lauraz@kcur.org and follow me on Twitter @laurazig.
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