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Portland loses Google high-speed broadband deal to Kansas City
by Sandy Kromeir - The Oregon Herald
  Thursday March 31, 2011 - 10:43 AM
 
PORTLAND, Oregon - Many Oregonians are saddened today as they learn Portland lost its bid to become the city of choice for Google's fiber-optic network, which would have provided Internet connections of 1 gigabit per second to as many as 500,000 people in and around Portland.

More than 1,100 cities had made their entries to become the bandwidth city of choice.

"In selecting a city, our goal was to find a location where we could build efficiently, make an impact on the community and develop relationships with local government and community organizations," Milo Medin, Google's vice president of access services, wrote in a post on Google's official blog. "We've found this in Kansas City."

While Portland still has its good name, some cities had made major changes to compete. Topeka, Kansas informally and temporarily renamed itself "Google, Kansas," during March 2010 as it tried to gain Google's attention for its experimental network. A company group in Baltimore launched a website that used Google mapping to plot the location of more than 1,000 residents and give their reasons for wanting the service. Hundreds of groups on Facebook implored Google to come to their cities.

Google's vice president Milo Medin, said Kansas City was selected because of its network infrastructure and because the program would substantially help the community, one of the poorest in the state.

"We believe gigabit broadband can be leveraged for economic development and educational gain, both of which are vital in the global economy that we live in today,'" Medin said. "We want to be able to build strong relationships and partnerships with local government and communities so that we can work together to use technology in a new way to make a city a better place to live in, a better place to work in, a better place to learn in."

The FCC is attempting to find more wireless bandwidth in the radio airewave spectrum and president Obama has promised to expand high-speed wireless Internet access to 98 percent of Americans.

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