We still love Google
So I just wanted to chime in about Google for a minute. Lately they have been getting a lot of negative press about their turning us down. And although we appreciate the support, I think you all need to understand a few things.
Our original plan to put Wi-Fi in low income neighborhoods included the idea that we could share in the free internet connections that Google is giving to some 400+ government offices in Wyandotte County and KCMO. You see as part of Google contract with the two cities, Google is giving a free gigabit internet connecting to approximately 450 offices. Although we don’t know the entire list of whom and where those connections are going, we do know that libraries and public schools are among them and we thought it was reasonable to ask that they share those connections with the community. The people we spoke to at the Mayors bi-state innovation team thought that was a reasonable request.
That sharing the free connection is what Google turned down. So, no big surprise there. We were trying to get something for free and they turned us down. However, local reps from Google are going to help us design a new plan that fits in with their licensing agreements. I personally think that is mighty nice of them.
I also think it is worth mentioning again just how awesome it is that they picked Kansas City first. They chose us from over 1100 other cities and they chose Wyandotte County over Johnson County. They are going to the poor neighborhoods instead of the rich ones first. They are going residential over business first. That is so counter cultural to the normal way of doing business.
We, what some might consider the slums of America are the first to get it. Not the other way around.