As Google Eyes New Markets, KC Startups Thrive With Fiber (Video)

Google Fiber, the ultra-high-speed internet service that debuted in Kansas City and has since added Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah, to the list of cities it serves, is now looking to expand to nine more markets.

Google is working on plans to bring Fiber to Atlanta, Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Nashville, Tenn., Phoenix, Portland, Ore., Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Jose, Calif.

It’s a major step in Google’s effort to build out an internet network that the company says is 100 times faster than today’s average broadband speeds.

Fiber still hasn’t been installed throughout the entire Kansas City area, but some residential customers have been connected to the one-gigabit service for more than a year now.

One company in Kansas City that has benefitted from Fiber is Handprint, which helps users edit and print 3-D models from the internet. The startup relocated to Kansas City from Boston to take advantage of Fiber, and Handprint co-founder Mike Demarais said the internet service helps his team work faster than ever imagined.

“Google Fiber is really helpful for regular small businesses,” Demarais said.

According to Techie.com, Kansas City is one of the most promising tech hubs of 2014, in large part because of Google Fiber. Techie also cited other Kansas City tech assets, including LaunchKC, an initiative to help attract and develop tech startups in downtown Kansas City; the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s weekly One Million Cups meetup; and accelerator Spark Lab KC.


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