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Report: Kansas City testing "Google Fiber" service; hope still exists for WI sites


APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - Remember when five Wisconsin cities tried to attract the world’s fastest Internet system that Google is testing?

Well, it’s just getting off the ground where Google made its first choice – Kansas City Missouri and the adjacent Kansas City Kansas.

Other places still have hope. Google says it plans roll out its experimental “Google Fiber” service elsewhere – but it’s not saying where or when. Milwaukee, Madison, Marshfield, Appleton, and Superior had applied in 2010 to host the new network.

The Associated Press said the first homes in the K.C. area were wired up last fall. 

Google is testing Internet speeds of up to a gigabyte per second – much faster than high-speed cable modems. Some homes have opened their doors to new high-tech businesses that want to build super-sized files, and eliminate the buffering which interrupts online videos and live tele-conferences.

One place is called the “Home for Hackers,” where owners of start-up businesses have traveled from other parts of the country. They’re living rent free, while developing their new business plans.

Other homes, meanwhile, are testing out various levels of service. Google’s full-speed Internet costs $70 a month, and a cable-type service runs $50 a month.

Slower connections are free, with installation fees of $300. Observers have said the ground-breaking Google Fiber could force other Web providers to speed up their service in order to compete.