Google to build high-speed Internet infrastructure in Kansas City

Google will turn Kansas City into its networked city of the future with high-speed fiber Internet infrastructure. Here's a look.

Last year, Internet behemoth Google announced a competition in which the nation's cities would compete against each other for next-generation, high-speed Internet infrastructure.

The idea: put the rubber to the road when it comes to the federal government's National Broadband Plan, with the might of an enormously powerful private firm.

The plan: bring fiber, which is 100 times faster than cable, to American homes.

At the time, Google wrote:

Imagine sitting in a rural health clinic, streaming three-dimensional medical imaging over the web and discussing a unique condition with a specialist in New York. Or downloading a high-definition, full-length feature film in less than five minutes. Or collaborating with classmates around the world while watching live 3-D video of a university lecture. Universal, ultra high-speed Internet access will make all this and more possible.

On Wednesday, the company named its winner: Kansas City, Kansas.

Google has signed a development agreement with the city, in which it says it will be able to build its next-gen network efficiently, with community impact and with long-term relationships with local organizations such as the Kauffman Foundation, KCNext and the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Google plans to offer service as early as 2012. Indeed, this will likely be the first in a string of urban infrastructure projects across the nation by the company.

Here's a look in a video about the project:

"Data is like oxygen." In 2011, it's never more true.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com