In Kansas City, Peddling High-Speed Internet on City Streets
Google's offer to provide Kansas City neighborhoods with super-fast Internet failed to fully penetrate poorer areas of the city. In response, citizens are getting the word out by foot and even by ice cream truck.
Sunday was the deadline for neighborhoods in Kansas City to register enough participants to receive Google Fiber, a new super-fast Internet service. However, not enough citizens in poorer and predominantly black areas registered in time, leading to concerns about these areas being further left behind economically and educationally. In response, community groups have been working with Google to get the word out, going door to door and even using an ice cream truck with a loudspeaker to spread the message so that their neighborhoods can qualify for the service at a later, undisclosed date.
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What’s the Big Idea?
In order to get people to take advantage of ultra-high-speed Internet, they have to be convinced of their (and their neighborhood’s) need for the Internet in the first place, particularly when the costs involved may be prohibitive. One Google executive says that they are committed to helping close the digital divide by offering a range of options for users, but community members fear that the more entrenched race- and income-based divides will keep their neighborhoods at a technological and economic disadvantage.
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