Last year, Chattanooga Tennessee became the first city in the country to have a 1gb fiber network that was available to all businesses and residents within a 600 square mile area. The gb fiber is the backbone to the city’s new grid so the connections automatically go to every residence and business within the footprint. It’s up to the business owner or resident whether they want to also tap that line for data, tv and phone.
Earlier this summer, Kansas City, was the first city to receive commercial 1gb fiber available to it’s residents through Google. Google offers a great introductory offer including low cost high speed internet access, 1 tb of cloud based services and even a tablet.
When Chattanooga lit up their “gig” they started calling the city “The Gig City” and immediately ramped up their efforts to promote entrepreneurism and startups across the city. They did this by increasing promotion of co.lab a coworking space, incubator and accelerator in downtown Chattanooga and by launching the first three month accelerator based on high bandwidth, rightfully called the GigTank.
Now, with their one gigabit internet in tow Kansas City is hoping to spur innovation as well.
Last week Kansas City Mayor Sly James announced the new Launch KC initiative aimed at growing small businesses and startups in Kansas City rather than just focusing on luring big business. James said “We can build Kansas City into the place, theplace, for startups to call home.”
Kansas City is calling on partnerships with existing private sector businesses to provide startups and entrepreneurs with resources like free office space and mentoring. According to Kansas City Public Media, the city plans to kick in funds to offset equipment costs and build out wifi downtown.
This seems like a good start for Kansas City but from a municipal level we’re hopeful that this is just a start.