Greg's bite: Google gigs Kansas City, Kansas
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's bite: Google gigs Kansas City, Kansas

By Greg Mills

When out of the blue someone offers you a horse, it is rude to immediately check the horse's teeth right in front of them. Eventually, however, one takes a look at the finer details of the critter. Is it a broken-down, sway-backed hay burner or a fine race horse worth more than the family farm?

After a couple of calls to Kansas City Kansas City Hall, I got a city clerk to send me, by email, the 25-page agreement in PDF format, between Google and the city.  Considering the promised fiber optic network installation is worth several million dollars and represents a long term business deal for what amounts to a new Internet city utility, the document is pretty blunt and short. As the saying goes, the devil is in the details.  I have digested the contract and present an executive summary with numbered lines below.

As I scrutinize the document it is clear that Google holds the high cards in making the deal with KCK.  While the obvious benefits of having a world class Internet network in KCK will make dramatic long term changes in the city infrastructure, Google is a business and tends to make money. The investment in installing the fiber network will be considerable and the actual cost for the city to comply with the requirements of Google are certainly affordable.  

Google's contract with KCK, Executive Summary
 
1. Google's key stated reason for doing this, beyond getting into the internet utility business for any potential profit, is stated that they want to "foster new high-speed applications." The City's number one reason for making the deal is that they city has a direct interest in "improving the quality of life of it citizens through improvements to important infrastructure within it boundaries."

2. The city and big G agree to a 10 year term of their agreement with 5-year renewals thereafter. Google can bail out on 180 days written notice to the city after the first 10 years.

3. Google will design the project, a major engineering task, the city only has to approve the details. 

4. Google will decide where to build the "initial locations of the project" in consultation with the city. The notion is to cherry pick the most lucrative locations to build out first.  This helps reduce the outlay as the income from the partial installation will help fund the remaining areas that are not as profitable. There is no iron clad guarantee Google will build everywhere in KCK city limits, although that is implied.

5. Google commits to "built the initial locations of the project, including neighborhoods that are economically distressed." Long term improvement to the KCK economy as a whole, because of the project's economic stimulation, might bring the economically distressed people of the city some new employment opportunities in the future. However, high speed Internet per se, merely being technically available in blighted areas is hollow. Those lacking the funds to actually subscribe to the service or even own a computer with which to connect to the internet at high speed can't be helped short term. They have to have the education that would enable innovation or ideas to generate income from Internet access. One in four adults in KCK didn't graduate from high school and only one in ten have a college degree.  

6. Google has the right to decide where the initial build out will be based upon "demand for services, including demonstrated willingness to subscribe to the service and activity to support deployment of the service." Neighborhoods that are already mostly subscribing to cable Internet with existing provers and those with pre-installed home networks will likely jump to the head of the list for area network installation.  Neighborhoods that are organized and vocal about wanting to be hooked up may get service first. No firm timeframe for building out the entire system or a guarantee of every building location in the city being served is included in the agreement.

7. The service will only be within the city limits of KCK, but timing of the buildout will be determined on a demand-driven basis. Due to the fact that the network is a utility under the auspices of the Kansas City Kansas government, outlying areas beyond city limits may not participate. It may well be up to Google, who might make agreements with other bordering local governments, such as Bonner Springs and Basehor to include other cities.  

8. Google will have the sole discretion to make network design decisions, but will consult with the city.

9. Google will hire contractors to do the work, and the city will encourage Google to hire local businesses and contractors including women and minority owned business to participate in the project. Unions might call foul over this clause, which doesn't give the city any power to force Google to hire locals or union personnel. The unseemly flap a small group of union carpenters made over a recent water park developer bringing in experienced carpenters who knew how to build a water park may be repeated by disappointed local fiber network installers or contractors. The union's public whining was unseemly. 

10. Google plans to install fiber optic cables in unusual ways including: trenches, boring, slot cut micro trenching, fiber on buildings or aerial structures and inside existing city owned conduits, within gas lines and even inside sewer systems. Google will have access and free use of KCK Board of Public Utility poles and underground conduit. It turns out the city Board of Public Utilities has quite a bit of unused fiber cable already hung that is not in use. Google will make use of that.

11. KCK will provide office and central facility space and electrical power for both the office and network.

12. Google will bear all costs for the project, including design, engineering, construction, equipment and insurance for the work.

13. Google will manage the project and maintain the network up to the "termination point" for end users. This means that the owner of property is responsible for the home's internal installation and maintenance. Most residential users will most likely see incoming fiber optic cable coming to box near the electrical meter and the fiber optic signal is there converted into an electrical signal carried within the house on already installed coaxial wiring used for cable tv and cable internet.  For full 1 Gig internet service actual fiber might well be installed.   But 1 Gig Ethernet can be easily provided through wire.   

14. Google will contract with end users regarding placing an "Optical Network Terminal" inside the end user's premises.

15. KCK will let Google use city right of ways.

16. Google will offer Internet access up to 1Gbps while promising "reasonable and accessible pricing for Internet services will be defined as the project progresses. Customer support to be done by Google.

17. Google has the right to offer additional "as-yet undetermined services using the network." What this means is that Google is likely to compete with cable TV, Telephone and certainly existing cable internet providers.  

18. KCK will provide an "Executive Sponsor" at a senior level to interface with Google, cooperate with Google's efforts in every way, fast track construction permits at no cost, make fast decision and create a dedicated construction inspection team.

19. KCK agrees to cooperate with Google on public relations and let Google approve of public statements or announcements related to the project.. Google wants to control the PR situation as much as they can.

20 Google will collaborate with city resident to develop and use the high-speed Internet services.

21. Google will provide free high speed Internet to 130 locations including schools at no cost. There aren't 130 schools, libraries or colleges so some free locations will be up for grabs by worthy more or less public institutions such as private schools.

22. Google will work with the KCK Board of Public Utilities to create a smart electrical utility grid. This element of the deal is huge.  The notion of reading meters remotely and managing the electrical gird is very worth while.

23. Google get patent rights to anything patentable and agrees not to sue KCK if at all possible and the city agrees to those terms.

24. At the end of the last term Google will be willing sell the network to the city for a negotiated sum.

End of Agreement executive summary

In my next article on this subject I will compare the KCK deal with Google to the Department of Energy grant system now working in Chattanooga, Tennessee. That new fiber optic internet network is also a 1 Gig system. How that project is going is certainly going to be comparable to what is going on in KCK.  Also, keep in mind that once the fiber optic system is physically up and running enhancements up to 10 Gbps are possible in the future.  

Current pricing for Internet service in Chattanooga is 30 Mbps for $57.99 a month, 50 Mbps for $69 a month, 100 Mbps for $139.99 a month and for full 1 Gbps service, $349.99 per month. Google hasn't made any commitment on prices for service but tiered service and somewhat similar prices are likely. The problem with any service is that prices have to be affordable and the market will dictate how much Google can recover for various levels of service.  It is likely existing cable companies will offer cheaper cable modem service to stay in business at all.

That's Greg's Bite for today.

(Greg Mills is currently a graphic and Faux Wall Artist in Kansas City. Formerly a new product R&D man for the paint sundry market, he holds 11 US patents. Greg is an Extra Class Ham Radio Operator, AB6SF, iOS developer and web site designer. He's also working on a solar energy startup using a patent pending process for turning waste dual pane glass window units into thermal solar panels used to heat water see: www.CottageIndustySolar.com Married, with one daughter, Greg writes for intellectual property web sites and on Mac/Tech related issues. See Greg's art web site at http://www.gregmills.info He can be emailed at gregmills@mac.com)

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

LibreOffice 5.3.4.2 - Free, open-source...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
VOX 2.8.26 - Music player that supports...
VOX just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all audio formats you should ever need.... Read more
iFFmpeg 6.4.0 - Convert multimedia files...
iFFmpeg is a comprehensive media tool to convert movie, audio and media files between formats. The FFmpeg command line instructions can be very hard to master/understand, so iFFmpeg does all the hard... Read more
Beamer 3.3 - Stream any movie file from...
Beamer streams to your Apple TV.... Plays any movie file - Just like the popular desktop movie players, Beamer accepts all common formats, codecs and resolutions. AVI, MKV, MOV, MP4, WMV, FLV. To... Read more
jAlbum Pro 14.0 - Organize your digital...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. You can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly... Read more
Apple Remote Desktop Client 3.9.3 - Clie...
Apple Remote Desktop Client is the best way to manage the Mac computers on your network. Distribute software, provide real-time online help to end users, create detailed software and hardware reports... Read more
Chromium 59.0.3071.109 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 59.0.3071.109: This update has no Flash plug-... Read more
Thunderbird 52.2.0 - Email client from M...
As of July 2012, Thunderbird has transitioned to a new governance model, with new features being developed by the broader free software and open source community, and security fixes and improvements... Read more
Google Chrome 59.0.3071.109 - Modern and...
Google Chrome is a Web browser by Google, created to be a modern platform for Web pages and applications. It utilizes very fast loading of Web pages and has a V8 engine, which is a custom built... Read more
Shredo 1.2.2 - $9.99
Shredo is a beautiful, functional file-shredding and privacy scan utility. It permanently shreds files, folders, and external volumes' contents to keep information secure and impossible for anyone to... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

The House of da Vinci (Games)
The House of da Vinci 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Enter The House of Da Vinci, a new must-try 3D puzzle adventure game. Solve mechanical puzzles, discover hidden... | Read more »
Solve the disappearance of history’s gre...
Blue Brain Games invites you to indulge in an immersive hands-on 3D puzzle adventure in similar vein to The Room series, with its debut release The House of Da Vinci. Set during the historic period of the Italian Renaissance (when Leonardo himself... | Read more »
Age of Rivals (Games)
Age of Rivals 3.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 3.3 (iTunes) Description: Deep civilization-building strategy in a fast-paced card game! | Read more »
Panthera Frontier (Games)
Panthera Frontier 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Angry Birds Evolution beginner's gu...
Angry Birds changes things up a fair bit in its latest iteration, Angry Birds Evolution. The familiar sling-shot physics mechanics are still there, but the game now features team-based gameplay, RPG elements, and a new top-down view. With all of... | Read more »
Sega Forever is for the retro game fans
Sega is launching a new retro games service titled Sega Forever, in a move that's sure to delight games enthusiasts with a bit of nostalgia. Sega's releasing five classic games for free. The titles include Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star II,... | Read more »
The Little Acre (Games)
The Little Acre 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Lovely adventure game 'The Little A...
The Little Acre makes its way from PC to iOS today and it's a real charmer. It's a lovely little adventure game set in 1950's Ireland, gorgeously animated in a style slightly reminiscent of old Disney films. The game won a lot of praise for its... | Read more »
Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow officially...
Futurama: Worlds of Tomorrow arrives next Thursday, and it features . . . Stephen Hawking? Turns out a few of your favorite science super stars, including Bill Nye, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, and George Takei will be making an appearance alongside the... | Read more »
MU Origin’s new update offers exciting c...
MU Origin is kicking off the summer with style. Its latest update is a real doozy, offering up plenty of fresh content. New challenges, some extra help for newcomers, and new costumes are just a few of the things you will find in the new patch. | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Clearance 2016 MacBook Pros available for up...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $400 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz... Read more
Apple Ranks 9th In comScore Top 50 U.S. Digit...
comScore, Inc. has released its monthly ranking of U.S. online activity at the top digital media properties for May 2017 based on data from comScore Media Metrix Multi-Platform. * Entity has... Read more
10.5-inch iPad Pros available for up to $20 o...
B&H Photo has the new 2017 10.5″ iPad Pros available for up to $20 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 64GB iPad Pro WiFi: $649 - 256GB iPad Pro WiFi: $749 - 512GB... Read more
Three Off-The-Beaten-Track iOS Apps That Dese...
One of the great things about using iPads and iPhones is the vast selection of apps available for most anything you want or need to do. The three outlined in this article have been in my core app... Read more
Apple No. 1 Spot In Gartner Top 100 Vendors i...
Gartner, Inc. has unveiled the top global 100 vendors in IT in 2016 based on their revenue across IT (excluding communication services) and component market segments. In the Gartner Global Top 100:... Read more
Clearance iMacs available for up to $300 off...
B&H Photo has clearance 21″ and 27″ Apple iMacs available starting at $949, each including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $1999 $300 off original MSRP - 27″... Read more
1.4GHz Mac mini, refurbished, available for $...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 1.4GHz Mac minis available for $419. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, and shipping is free. Their price is $80 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest... Read more
Free Mixoo iOS Photo Editing App Gets Major U...
Button Software Technology has announced Mixoo 3.0, an important feature update to the company’s photo editor for iOS devices. Mixoo offers amazing ways to edit as well as decorate personal photo... Read more
FNable 2.0 Function Key Enabling Software Get...
Briksoftware has released FNable 2.0 With Touch Bar Support, a major new version of the function key enabling software now compatible with Touch Bar keyboards. FNable’s simplicity that allows users... Read more
Clearance 2016 12-inch Retina MacBooks, Apple...
Apple recently dropped prices on Certified Refurbished 2016 12″ Retina MacBooks, with models now available starting at $1019. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Security Data Analyst - *Apple* Information...
…data sources need to be collected to allow Information Security to better protect Apple employees and customers from a wide range of threats.Act as the subject matter Read more
Lead *Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple I...
…integrity, and trust.Success Metrics/Key Performance Indicators:Quantitative* Year over Year growth in Apple Product and Beyond the Box sales in the assigned Point of Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant till v%u00E5r...
…ethics, integrity, and trust.Success Metrics/Key Performance Indicators:QuantitativeYear over Year growth in Apple Product and Beyond the Box sales in the assigned Point Read more
Sr. Software Engineer, *Apple* Retail - App...
Apple Retail is looking for a Software Engineer…You'll work on projects that touch all aspects of Apple Retail Point-of-Sale system, and will leverage your strong Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.