We kick off a new series called "Central." We’ll be road tripping up Central Avenue, from South Mountain to North Mountain over the next few weeks.
Kansas City Was The First To Have Google Fiber
This week, Google announced that Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe could be among the next cities to have Google Fiber. The Valley is one of nine metro areas Google is looking at to potentially install its high-speed Internet service, which is 100 times faster than the average broadband network.
The service is currently only available in Kansas City. Pam Whiting is the vice president of communications for the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
"There was tremendous excitement when Google made the announcement. Kansas City was the first city chosen for Google Fiber, and that’s been a significant advantage for us the last couple of years," said Whiting.
Whiting said it is too early to have numbers, but anecdotally, Google Fiber has been a boon to Kansas City.
"We saw tremendous interest from all over the country the minute that Google made the announcement that they were bringing their first high-speed network to Kansas City, and it continues," Whiting said.
"Do you have Google Fiber?" I asked her.
"You know, I’m not lucky enough to have it yet. There’s a lot of infrastructure investment, it takes a little time, they roll it out slowly into different Fiberhoods, they call them," Whiting explained. "I don’t have it, I live on the outskirts of the city, but the good news is last week, there were a couple of guys stringing wire and putting up a new pole in front of my house, and they said they were working for Google."
Whiting said the city has seen a lot of start-up and entrepreneurial activity over the past few years. One big example of that is the Kansas City Startup Village.
"I am an entrepreneur and start-up community advocate. I have a start-up company here in Kansas City called hoopla.io and then also one of the co-leaders of Kansas City Startup Village," said Matthew Marcus.
Marcus described his company as the easy button for event marketing. He said the Startup Village started organically a little more than a year ago. He described it as a mecca for start-ups and entrepreneurs.
Barry Broome also hopes Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe get Google Fiber. He is the president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council and said it would be a great recruiting tool he could use to lure companies to the Valley.