Google announced the next phase of its Google Fiber project, which involves building a 1 Gbps residential network in Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri."If you’re in Kansas City in the next few weeks, you may notice a few engineers walking around, consulting maps and surveying your street or neighborhood," announced Kevin Lo, general manager for Google Access.
"These engineers are kicking off the next phase of Google Fiber—detail engineering," he explained on the official Google Fiber blog.
Google plans to start offering ultra high-speed broadband connectivity to residents of the two cities in early 2012, with advance sign-ups beginning in the fourth quarter of 2011.
For this to happen, the company needs to start laying out the fiber as soon as possible and detail engineering is the first step to do that.
This phase is about gathering geographical information required to plan the layout of the network. It will involve counting utility poles and taking all sorts of measurements.
"Many of the engineers working with us are Kansas City residents who are already generally familiar with the area, but they still may need to ask you a few simple questions (e.g. “what is your address?)," Lo explained.
"Their work may look a little strange to observers, but it will help us deploy Google Fiber to the community as quickly and efficiently as possible," he added.
The Google Fiber project is the search giant's experiment to see how big are the costs to build a network like this from scratch and offer this kind of connectivity to home users.
It will either contradict or strengthen the opinion of current broadband providers which claim that upgrading to such a network would be extremely expensive.
Google is also interested in seeing the new opportunities and ideas born in the two cities as a result of ultra high-speed broadband being available there. The gigabit fiber network is expected to attract significant investments in the areas.