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Kansas City Tech Businesses Relocating to First Google Fiberhoods; “It Makes Life Easier”

Phillip Dampier October 9, 2012 Broadband Speed, Competition, Google Fiber & Wireless, Public Policy & Gov't 1 Comment

Property values in the historic neighborhood of Hanover Heights (Kansas) are ticking up as tech businesses relocate to follow Google’s roll-out of gigabit fiber service, coming in a matter of weeks.

Only one problem: Google is not officially selling fiber service to businesses just yet. Answer? Buy residential property in the area and move workers who could deliver increased productivity with faster Internet speeds.

That was the answer for Local Ruckus LLC, which is opening its new headquarters in a 2,500-square foot home in the first neighborhood scheduled to receive Google Fiber service.

“It just makes life easier,” CEO Adam Arredondo told the Kansas City Star.

The company says it needs the faster speeds to facilitate transferring files back and forth more quickly.

RareWire, a local developer of apps for mobile devices has decided it can best leverage 1,000Mbps broadband speeds launching a new startup – App Creation Studio, which will assist developers with testing and marketing apps.

Tech start-ups are exactly what Google hoped to see from its experimental fiber network, which is still barely operational. City officials see fiber broadband infrastructure as the foundation for energizing the local digital economy — potentially turning the city into a Silicon Prairie.

KCMO mayor Sly James last month unveiled Launch KC — an effort to attract technology companies to Kansas City, particularly start-ups.

James announced five companies and Union Station were prepared to offer free or “very affordable” office space in the city’s Crossroads district, the West Bottoms, and downtown. Office space is even available at the Kansas City International Airport.

Other initiatives would stimulate businesses with attractive sale-and-leaseback offers and exemptions for sales and property taxes. Officials specifically targeted city neighborhoods they felt would be attractive to young entrepreneurs in their 20s and 30s looking for office space. Nearby renovated rental property in neighborhoods officials call “funky without being phony” and “organic” should prove attractive to those relocating to Kansas City, according to project representatives.

City officials are also working on developing free Wi-Fi service in the neighborhood and attracting a data center that would offer attractive cloud storage and other web hosting services.

Most of the incentives represent a fundamental shift away from traditional economic development initiatives, mostly targeted to traditional brick and mortar projects for large manufacturing, retail, or service companies that employ hundreds or thousands of workers. Instead, Kansas City officials are targeting small digital economy businesses that often employ fewer than 20 workers. Launch KC believes the sheer number of potential start-ups, and the modest cost of the program, could pay dividends.

With Google Fiber and the city’s cooperation, the Mayors’ Bistate Innovations Team Task Force believes it has a winning combination.

“We’re in a great position right now,” Burke said, “and we need to take advantage of it.”

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Bob61571
Bob61571
7 years ago

I have KC, MO friend. She lives in NW KC, in a nice upper middle class area.
As of now, NO Google Fiber being installed North of the Missouri River.

Anyone there have any idea WHEN Google will expand North?

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