Low Income Kansas City Residents Left in Google Fiber Dust
As Fiberhood Rallies Continue for Another Two Weeks
Not long ago we noted that the neighborhoods that are truly succeeding in rallying to get Google Fiber tend to be more affluent, with some going so far as to hired their own door to door pitchmen
to drive support. Despite Google's novel concept for drumming up support, the end result of who gets broadband (and free 1 Gbps connections to schools and libraries) may fall along very familiar income lines.
The Kansas City Star
argues that Google Fiber could actually widen the digital divide, and that with just two weeks left lower income neighborhoods (where people have more important things to worry about than giving Google free PR) are falling behind:
Two weeks remain for dozens of neighborhoods to sign up enough potential customers to qualify for Google’s service before a Sept. 9 deadline. But many neighborhoods — chiefly the least prosperous pockets of the metro area — remain far behind the pace needed to hit the Google-established thresholds of customer penetration...Google has said 10 percent of the downtown district must pre-register before anyone there gets service. That means 89 homes. By Friday afternoon, just 13 were pre-registered in the first four weeks, with a little over two weeks to go.
Like any project with an eye on a good investment return it only makes obvious sense to first focus on places where there's the most interest. Verizon has consistently been criticized for redlining by skipping cities like Boston, Buffalo and Baltimore
with its own FiOS fiber to the home deployments. Despite some press suggestions to the contrary Google's deployment was never focused on altruism, yet the company says they'll still be providing free 1 Gbps connections to 430 locations in Wyandotte County and Kansas City.