Friday, August 10, 2012
I'm about two weeks late to the party, but I'm on board for Google Fiber. The reality is that 95% of the people who read my blog can't impact what's happening with Google Fiber in Kansas City, KS. But it is still an interesting thing happening right now in Kansas City and especially in our school.
In case you aren't familiar with the program, Google Fiber is internet that is 100 times faster than what we experience now. The United States actually has very slow internet compared to other places in the world. (South Korea is the fastest.) So Google has this crazy plan to bring Fiber to KCK and KCMO. We won!
But there's some work to do on our end. The cities are divided into Fiberhoods and varying amounts of residents in each Fiberhood need to register so that the area can receive installation. Our school is in an area where we need a lot of people - as of Thursday night, 270 more people to register for Google Fiber. If you look at the list, a lot of schools in our area are very close to meeting the minimum. We have a ways to go!
We don't get Fiber at my school unless our Fiberhood is getting it - so we're at the mercy of the neighborhood and the community. It is really pretty simple but there are a few steps. You have to have a gmail account, and you have to make a deposit of $10 using a credit card. Sure, no big deal for you and me. But for a lot of our neighbors, that's totally nuts.
A nice/crazy woman offered to pay everyone's deposits so we could reach our goal, but it doesn't work that way. When you pay the $10, it is a deposit for your first month's service. You are going to die when you hear how much this cost. $25 a month for one year. And then you get it free for like six more years. This is just regular internet, there is a surcharge for Google Fiber. But we believe our district will spring for Google Fiber...if we can get our neighborhood wired.
Thursday morning, the fine folks opened the Fiberspace early for administrators and teacher leaders from KCK to come check out the implications of Fiber for our school. Lots of young, friendly people working there in a space that totally highlights KC, including my favorite NERDBOTS! I asked and the staff is mostly all local because Google knew they would care MORE about getting it done in our neighborhoods. I like the representatives assigned to our school, and I think we'll get lots done to try to meet the VERY big goal.
I understand it would be complicated to wire individual schools and libraries in our city without including the neighboring areas, but it is still a hard reality. In our district, our high school students have laptops but don't have a lot of internet access. Teachers will tell stories of students sitting in their cars in McDonald's parking lots to use the free wifi to turn in a homework assignment.
And this is just the Kansas side. I know that there are fiberhoods on Missouri that already have enough people preregistered, but they aren't east of Troost. The dividing line between rich and poor, black and white, in KCMO is still crystal clear on the Google Fiberhood map.
I'm excited. I have a sticker on my laptop, posters on my door and plans to help. But that's only my little area. I wish that all the schools could have it. All the libraries. It could be so good for our communities where access is limited or too expensive.
P.S. If you didn't watch the video, you really need to. When I watched it at Fiber Space, first I got goosebumps and then I cried because I love Kansas City so much and the chance we have a better future so much. #letsdothisforKC
P.S.S. Happy birthday Grandma! Thanks for reading this and every single post.