Google-speed groans rippled through the crowd April 6 at the Google’s first town hall meeting when Matt Dunne, community affairs manager, said that Google will not be providing any new jobs or office location in Wyandotte County. The meeting held more than 500 people at the Reardon Civic Center, 520 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, Kan., many of which were hoping for a position with the announcement of Google choosing KCK to expand and develop its ultra high speed network.
“[What further] attracted Google to this region was the diversity,” Dunne said. “It was not only the racial diversity but the socio-economic diversity. This reflects demographics as a whole across the country.”
Dunne said that there would possibly be two or three positions open in the area for Google but there would be no corporate campus or office building. He said that Google chose the location here because of the incredible amount of innovative talent and the city’s leadership. Vendors for deployment of the infrastructure will be companies that Google has had partnerships with before.
“Anyone can fill out an application for [any of our locations],” Dunne said. “We receive applications from around the world and only choose the ones that are best qualified for the job.”
Dunne said that his job was to dispel these rumors and keep the public informed of the next steps.
“We are going to change the face of the service,” Dunne said. “[According to the agreement with the city’s leaders], we will deliver 130 government locations high speed network free of charge.”
Dunne said that the priority of selecting the 130 government locations will be up to the Unified Government and other public entities. Dunne said that the good news is that KCK has the status of the first location in the nation.
“It is exciting for us to deploy,” Dunne said. “Partially because we do not know what this will bring.”
In a meeting held April 6 at the KCK Board of Public Utilities, 540 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, Kan., Brent Miles, Wyandotte Economic Development Council president, said that the news of Google launching in KCK has already made an impact. Companies that have previously been uninterested in the Wyandotte County area due to lack of technological development have already shown interest since last week’s announcement.
According to Sue Gamble, information office for the Kansas State School for the Blind, said that this might be a tremendous opportunity for growth in education. She said this would help to build better communication between School for the Blind and School for the Deaf which is located in Olathe.
Other questions posed to Dunne regarded the environmental factor of the fiber network, the cost of maintenance for the conduit and poles, price range for local area residents, and energy consumption. Concerning Google success/failure metrics, Dunne said that answers to the questions, all metrics and other information can be found on Google’s website for the KCK area. This will be updated as more information comes in.
Dunne said that customer acquisition, technical support and other details relating to the network will be done remotely and/or online.
“The UG has been great and innovative,” said Thomas Gordon, Create Black Ink. “[However, the residents] have paid for poles and streets, we should have some type of financial enrichment.”
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