Testing the GigaCity

Getting Fast in KC

Story by Nancy Scola

Illustration by Greg Pizzoli

Published on Nov 13, 2012

In March 2011, Google named Kansas City, Kan. the site of its first attempt to connect homes to its own fiber-optic network, appropriately named Google Fiber. It soon added the synonymous city across the river, Kansas City, Mo., to the list, and now these two mid-sized metropolises are on track to get the fastest broadband in the country (proclaims one local billboard: “Kansas City, you are now faster than New York City). The dream of a gigabyte in every pot has won the pair of cities new friends from around the world. There is little doubt the 21st-century city will be a connected one; tech media veteran Nancy Scola takes a look at the promises being made to ask if an experimenting Silicon Valley giant and the people of Kansas City can forge a path to get there together.