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Google reaches halfway mark with new fiber huts in Kansas and Missouri

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The Google Fiber project in Kansas and Missouri (Kansas City in both places) has generated a lot of press, with everyone wondering just what folks will do with their new gigabit connections, and how the pilot program could impact broadband providers elsewhere. Now, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is announcing updates to the project on its Google Fiber Blog. According to a post this morning, construction crews are in the process of installing fiber and building so-called Google Fiber Huts, with half of the necessary fiber huts already complete. Eventually the company will connect all of its Google Fiber Huts to neighborhoods and homes by stringing fiber from the huts along local utility poles.

Last month, AT&T (NYSE: T) surprised many by agreeing to allow Google access to its utility poles in the region. Google will ultimately compete with AT&T in the area, along with Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) and SureWest Communications (Nasdaq: SURW). In addition to very-high-speed Internet service, Google has plans to offer TV over its new gigabit network as well. It has already won the right to do so in Missouri, and is waiting for a decision from the Kansas Corporation Commission on its application in that state.

Time Warner has been dismissive of Google's plans so far. A spokesperson told the Kansas City Star, "This [Google Fiber] is a product that doesn't exist on a network that doesn't exist." Google, however, says it will begin offering service on the new fiber network later this year.

Google fiber diagram

Image source: Google

As a side note, Google has shown that it can also poke fun at its fiber ambitions. On April 1, the company posted an April Fools video introducing the new and nutritious "Google Fiber Bar."

For more:
- see today's Google blog post
- see the April 1st Google blog post

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AT&T expands U-verse reach in Kansas City, lets Google share polesGoogle gets green light to offer TV in Kansas City, Mo.
Google gets green light to offer TV in Kansas City, Mo.
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Google fiber edging device could help it rapidly connect homes in Kansas City to 1-Gig network